Microsoft Ends Windows 7 & Windows 8 Sales

The lifecycles for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have come to an end, as Microsoft confirmed last week that they’ve discontinued sales of the operating systems.

“End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMs are Dell and Toshiba – PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software,” explains Microsoft.

Looking for a brand new PC with Windows 7 or Windows 8? You’ll likely have to look for an OEM who is selling off existing stock.

Although Microsoft will continue to provide ongoing updates support for Windows 7 until January 2020, and for Windows 8 until January 2023, they are likely ending sales in an effort to boost Windows 10 sales, which have been stagnant since their free upgrade offer ended in July.  

For more information, visit the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet.

New Features in Windows 10

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With Windows 10 now officially replacing Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, here are a few of the big changes to the new Operating System .

Refreshed User Interface

Windows 10’s flat and modern interface has been refreshed so that it works for both touchscreens, and computers with the traditional keyboard and mouse. Full screen apps can now be easily windowed on the desktop, and there are new ways to arrange and manage multiple windows for easier multitasking.

New Start Menu

The Start Menu is back, and replaces the full screen Start screen that was featured in Windows 8. Users can quickly access recently used apps, the file explorer, and power controls. The Start Menu’s blend of the old and new rectifies one of the biggest complaints that users had with Windows 8.

New Apps (Mail, Calendar, Photos, Maps)

The core apps have been given an overhaul, with the Mail and Calendar apps borrowing ideas and design from Microsoft Outlook. The Photos app has a new interface and a plugin to OneDrive so images and videos can be backed up from users’ phones. The Maps app also has a new interface, and maps can integrate with Cortana.

 Action Center

The Action Center acts as a notification panel, organizing notifications by app and providing quick access to commonly used settings. Its appearance can be customized and it displays app notifications. The Action Center is accessed by swiping in from the right on the screen or trackpad, or by clicking the icon in the task bar.

Hello

Windows 10 features a new, clean lock screen. Computers with supporting hardware can use the Hello feature to log in without entering a password. Hello uses image recognition login system and lets users log into Windows 10 using their faces or their fingers.

Learn more about the other changes in Windows 10.

Windows 8.1 Update

On April 2, 2014, Microsoft announced an update to Windows 8.1. The major elements in this update are:

  • Easy-to-access Power and Search buttons added to the Start screen
  • Added desktop functionality with taskbar available any time by pointing to bottom of screen
  • Added taskbar functionality with ability to pin Windows Store apps an Internet bookmarks to the taskbar
  • Added app features with ability to display Close and Minimize buttons by pointing to top of a Windows Store app

Easier access to your favorite apps and key controls:

On the Start screen of select devices you will now find Power and Search buttons at the upper-right corner next to your account picture. You can now more quickly shut down your PC if you need to and do a search right from the Start screen.

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If you like using the desktop, you will be happy to know that select devices will now boot to desktop as the default setting. And on your taskbar, you can now pin both desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store as well as your favorite websites. You can pin any app you want to the taskbar so you can open or switch between apps right from the desktop. You can also access the taskbar from anywhere when you’re using a mouse; you can see the taskbar on any screen by moving your mouse to the bottom edge of your screen. Just click on any of the apps pinned to your taskbar to open or switch to them.

More familiar mouse and keyboard options:

Microsoft lets your mouse work more consistently anywhere in Windows. If you move your mouse to the top of the screen when using a Windows Store app, you will see the familiar Close and Minimize buttons. When you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen in a Windows Store app, the taskbar comes up.

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On the Start screen, if you right-click on an app tile, you will get a context menu next to the app tile that shows you what you can do with the tile, like unpin from Start, pin to the taskbar, change the tile size or even uninstall the app. Right-clicking on an app tile on the Start screen works just like right-clicking on something on the desktop.

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Simpler way to find new apps:

After installing the update, you’ll find the Windows Store is now pinned to the taskbar by default so you can easily discover new apps (yes, you can unpin it if you don’t want it there).

Learn more »