Windows 7 launched on October 22, 2009. In October 2010, Microsoft revealed that it had sold over 240 million Windows 7 licenses in the operating system’s first year, and in January 2011 that number grew to 300 million at the 15-month mark.
Windows 8 launched on October 26, 2012. In February 2014, Microsoft revealed that it had sold over 200 million Windows 8 licenses in the operating system’s 15 months. No matter how you slice it, that’s not good news for the company.
The extension of the Windows 7 Pro preload-cutoff date is not related to the looming end-of-support date for Windows XP, said Shad Larsen, senior business program manager, Windows business planning team. Nor is it because of business-customer reticence to adopt Windows 8, Larsen insisted.
Instead, Larsen said that because Windows 7 remains the largest part of Microsoft’s installed base and is still in the midst of being deployed by business customers, Microsoft wants to make it easy and possible for businesses to continue to obtain it.
Those logic gap in those two paragraphs is hilarious. Microsoft is not extending the life of Windows 7 because of customer reticence to adopt Windows 8 — but rather it’s because Windows 7 remains the largest part of the business install base. But wait. Why is that? Because no one in their right mind wants a business machine that runs Windows 8!
Isn't Microsoft's free upgrade only for people who purchased Window's 8? If you're on Window's 7, I believe you have to pay for it. By contrast, anyone who has Snow Leopard or later can upgrade to Mavericks for free.
Yes. That’s a great point that’s largely been overlooked. Have Windows 7 and want to upgrade to Windows 8.1? That’ll be $119 or $199.
It’s not pat to say that the Windows PC market went for volume over quality, because it did: Many of those 20 million Windows 7 licenses each month—too many, I think—went to machines that are basically throwaway, plastic crap. Netbooks didn’t just rejuvenate the market just as Windows 7 appeared, they also destroyed it from within: Now consumers expect to pay next to nothing for a Windows PC. Most of them simply refuse to pay for more expensive Windows PCs.
Well stated. Microsoft’s problem isn’t just that Windows 8 is a confusing mess of a product that offers little upgrade incentive (though I’d argue that’s a big one), it’s all the elements surrounding it as well. Thurrott rightly points out a massive one not often talked about: netbooks. They inflated Windows 7 numbers while destroying the margins of the PC business, which in turn is now badly hurting the Windows business. It’s the classic short-term gain for long-term pain scenario.
A quick look at our newest computer Ratings tells an interesting story: Despite the release of the new Windows 8 OS, many Windows 7 computers are still available from a variety of retailers, and several top our Ratings. If you’re shopping for a new computer right now, there are some good reasons to opt for Windows 7.