October 22nd, 2010 was a non-event for Windows Vista, with Microsoft busy celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Windows 7.
But fact is that the date marked an important milestone for the successor of Windows XP, namely Packaged Software End of Sales.
As of October 22, per the new lifecycle changes introduced by the Redmond company, sales of boxed versions of Vista were discontinued, almost three years after the OS hit store shelves.
Nobody noticed, and furthermore, there’s hardly anyone fighting the software giant on the decision to stop selling Vista, as they did for Windows XP.
By comparison, XP was available for purchase from December 31, 2001 to June 30, 2008, almost 7 years, and more than double compared to Vista.
In fact, customers were still able to buy new OEM PCs preinstalled with Windows XP as of October 22nd, 2010.
New computers shipping with Vista will continue to be available to customers until October 22nd, 2011, but Microsoft is noting that the vast majority of OEMs and system builders have embraced Windows 7.
“End of Sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMS are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software. When a version of Windows reaches its End of Sales date, it's a good time to think about upgrading,” the company explained.
“Note that when the packaged software product reaches its retail End of Sales date, it can still be purchased through OEMs (the company that made your PC) until it reaches the End of Sales date for OEMs.”
Similarly, sales of boxed copies of Windows 7 will be discontinued 1 year after the release of Windows 8, with Win7 surviving on new PCs for two more years after Win8 hits store shelves.
Meanwhile Vista’s usage share on the OS market is down to 12.6% and is continuing to shrink as more and more users upgrade to Windows 7.