In a real-world example of the craziness of the movie It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (one of my favs, btw), there’s an insane rush on, for most, to migrate away from Windows XP. On April 8, 2014, except for those willing to pay about $200 per PC for extended coverage, all support for Windows XP ends. After that date no security updates will be issued ever again, making an already unsecure OS a huge target for malware bombs. As much distance as there exists between the old Sony Betamax and Blu-Ray, that’s about the case between the 12 year old Windows XP and modern operating systems.
Microsoft would love it if businesses were choosing Windows 8 as the goto migratory destination, but they aren’t. Instead, businesses are migrating in droves to Windows 7. Microsoft has spent the last year or so pushing Windows 8 as the preferred destination, but customers stopped listening. There are many reasons for not choosing Windows 8, but one of the primary reasons is that Windows 7 just works in similar fashion as the old OS businesses are migrating from.
The customer choice is unavoidable, and Microsoft has now taken a step to aid businesses in achieving the goal of their decision. On Friday, Microsoft extended the life of Windows 7 for OEMs. What this means is that businesses will still be able to purchase new PCs with Windows 7 Pro preinstalled. Previous to the change, the deadline of OEM versions of Windows 7 was October 2014. Microsoft has also given no official date for when this will end. Instead of just moving the peg, the end of OEM Windows 7 sales is open-ended.
OEM installs for consumer versions of Windows 7 (Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate) remains unchanged with the October 31, 2014 still in force. So, in effect, if a consumer wants to purchase a new computer with Windows installed after October, Windows 8 will be the only choice.
Mainstream support for Window 7 ends on January 13, 2015 with extended support lasting until January 10, 2020.