With Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 already on the market and another major update prepared to debut in the coming months, some people are wondering whether Microsoft should put an end to Windows 7 sales and focus on the modern versions of its operating system.
It turns out that Redmond has recently decided to extend sales of Windows 7 Professional beyond October 2014, the original date when the company wanted to request OEMs to stop selling PCs running this particular OS version.
While the consumer editions of Windows 7 would indeed be retired on October 31, 2014, Microsoft will keep Windows 7 Professional up for grabs for a while, but no specifics have been provided on when the company intends to retire this version too.
Interestingly, Windows 7 Professional mainstream support will come to an end on January 13, 2015, so everybody’s wondering how come Microsoft plans to keep an operating system that will no longer receive support available for business users.
In a statement provided for ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson explains that this is possible because there’s “a relatively small difference between mainstream support and extended support.” Extended support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020.
“Generally OEMs offer free warranty support for a period of time (usually 1 year) defined by the OEM. Because of this, there is a relatively small difference between mainstream support and extended support in the case of the OEM license because the OEM licensed versions of Windows continue to receive support directly from the OEM for the hardware and software,” the spokesperson said.
Windows 7 is at this point the world’s number one operating system, according to third-party market share stats, with more than 45 percent of the computers on the globe currently running it.