Microsoft decides to allow the continued sale of Windows 7 PCs after all

u s military reportedly uses unlicensed copies windows 7 laptop

Microsoft has backtracked on a lot of statements and policies this year, many of them concerning the Xbox One. Now, after initially announcing that it will cease to permit the sale of Windows 7 via both retail software sales and the sales of Windows 7-loaded PCs starting October 30, Microsoft reversed course. While they’re sticking to the halt on retail Windows 7 sales, they are still allowing PC manufacturers to build and ship systems with Windows 7 preinstalled. Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle fact sheet now indicates that the end date of Windows 7 sales on new PCs is “To be determined.”

Here’s what a Microsoft statement had to say on the matter.

“We have yet to determine the end of sales date for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled. The October 30 date that posted to the Windows Lifecycle page globally last week was done so in error. We have since updated the website to note the correct information [and] we apologize for any confusion this may have caused our customers. We’ll have more details to share about the Windows 7 lifecycle once they become available.”

Considering the slow Windows 8 adoption rates, it’s possible that Microsoft decided to extend the availability of Windows 7 to make up for Windows 8’s weak sales. Though Microsoft has taken steps to improve Windows 8 with Windows 8.1, which was released in October, Windows users are absolutely clinging to both Windows XP and Windows 7.

According to Net Applications, a marketshare data tracking firm, the pool of people using Windows 7 grew to 46.6 percent, up from 46. 4 percent, by the end of last month. On top of that, Windows XP and its user base held steady. Windows XP is found on 31.2 percent of all computers.

What’s more, of all the PCs running Windows, Windows 7 is installed on 51.3 percent of all of those machines as of the end of November. Windows XP also remains strong in this area as well, accounting for 34.4 percent of all machines running a version of Windows, though that number dropped slightly, falling to 34.5 percent last month.

With those numbers in mind, Windows 8 clearly has a problem connecting with consumers. Perhaps by making the move to allow PC makers to offer Windows 7 systems, Microsoft is buying itself more time to build the bridge between Windows 8 and PC users. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile is dead: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.
Computing

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.
Computing

Want a Dell laptop with an RTX 2060? Cross the new XPS 15 off your list

The next iteration of Dell's XPS 15 laptop won't come with an option for an RTX 2060, according to Alienware's Frank Azor. You could always opt for a new Alienware m15 or m17 instead.
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering ergonomic mice alternatives. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Apple

Want a MacBook that will last all day on a single charge? Check these models out

Battery life is one of the most important factors in buying any laptop, especially MacBooks. Their battery life is typically average, but there are some standouts. Knowing which MacBook has the best battery life can be rather useful.
Computing

Always have way too many tabs open? Google Chrome might finally help

Google is one step closer to bringing tab groups to its Chrome browser. The feature is now available in Google's Chrome Canady build with an early implementation that can be enabled through its flag system.
Mobile

Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using your desktop or the web

Amazon's Kindle is one of the best ebook readers on the market, but it doesn't make viewing proprietary files on other platforms any easier. Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using either desktop or web-based applications.
Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.