After four months in the wild, it's safe to say that Windows 10 is a solid operating system that works well for most people. However, for some people upgrades haven't gone as well as they should have, and some have decided to go back to an earlier operating system.
Other users aren't even considering an upgrade due to Windows 10's privacy-invading features and Microsoft's general pushiness in trying to get people to upgrade. So, it's a relief that users still have the option to buy computers running Windows 7 and 8. However, if you're in that boat, you should know it isn't going to continue forever.
Microsoft has a long-standing rule about how long computer manufacturers can use previous versions of Windows. Manufacturers have to stop loading old versions of Windows onto new computers two years after the release of the latest Windows version.
Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate actually stopped shipping on computers on October 31, 2014, which was two years after the launch of Windows 8. However, Microsoft extended the life of Window 7 Pro another two years because of the backlash against Windows 8.
That means computer manufacturers will stop using Windows 7 Pro on October 31, 2016. Windows 7 computers will still be around for a little while after on store shelves, but you can expect them to go fast.
Because of the extension, Windows 7 is actually wrapping up on the same date as Windows 8.1. And Windows 8 is stopping even earlier in June 30, 2016, although we don't know anyone who would want a new computer with the original Windows 8, and no manufacturers we've seen are selling it.
The upshot is that if you're looking at a new computer, but don't want Windows 10, you have a little more time to buy. However, the year is going to go fast, so make sure you buy before your window runs out.
One thing that confuses many people is the end of sales vs. the end of support. Microsoft will still be releasing security updates for Windows 7 through January 14, 2020, and Windows 8.1 is supported through January 10, 2023. So, if you do have a Windows 7 or 8.1 computer, you have half a decade or more yet before you absolutely have to upgrade.
Please note that the original Windows 8 does not receive system or security updates at all. If you want system and security updates, and you do to keep your computer safe, you have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 first. Don't worry; it's free.
Are you planning on rushing out to buy a new Windows 7 or 8.1 computer before the deadline, or is your next computer going to be Windows 10? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.