If you’re in the market for a new PC, but you’re not ready to commit to Windows 10, you’ve got a little under a year to buy a new unit. That’s because Microsoft has set October 31, 2016 as the end of the line for its partners to sell PCs running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1.
Microsoft made this change in policy public on its Windows lifestyle fact sheet page, which also explains that June 30, 2016 will be the end of sales for PCs with Windows 8.0 installed. You may be able to find a PC for sale after next Halloween, but only if the retailer has existing stock, as Amazon is still selling Windows 7 and 8.1 as software, despite the end of sale date for those editions having passed.
Windows 7 and 8 users will not be left out in the cold after Halloween, as the same page lists January 14, 2020 and January 10, 2023 as the end of extended support for those respective platforms. This means those systems will still be getting security updates to those dates.
Among other reasons, users may not want to upgrade to Windows 10 because of driver compatibility issues. In our recent Tech Support Showdown, an HP tech support rep advised us to roll a system back to Windows 8.1 to fix such an issue.