According to the Windows lifecycle fact sheet published on Microsoft’s site, the company has already ended retail sales of Windows 7. Apparently, the page was recently and somewhat surreptitiously updated to show Windows 7 “Retail software end of sales” date as October 30th, 2013. The same page is showing “End of sales for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled” as “To be determined“. However, word has it that the actual date for this event could be as early as October 2014, less than 12 months from now:
So, what does this mean for those XP users looking to replace their operating system with Windows 7 on the same machine? It’s difficult to place an exact timeline on it but I wouldn’t be panicking, I seriously doubt existing stocks of Windows 7 installation discs will be running out any time soon. Even though it may sound pretty scary, in practical terms the end-of-retail-sales date has traditionally been a largely inconsequential deadline with online retailers continuing to sell packaged copies well after the official date has been and gone, sometimes for years after.