So long, Windows 7. I'd say we hardly knew you, but many of us have been clinging to you like a life preserver in waters with circling OS upgrade sharks. On October 31st, Microsoft decided to stop offering that life preserver--at least for consumer licenses.
The company has withdrawn retail copies of Windows 7 and no longer allows you to digitally download it. OEMs are also prevented from pre-installing Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate, but can continue selling off their existing stock of computers with Windows 7 pre-installed.
Windows 7 Professional can still be pre-installed on business PCs for at least another year--and it's probably businesses who are trying to avoid the aggravation of upgrading to Windows 8 that are most interested in this option. After all, Windows 7 remains the dominant desktop OS, with more than half of the market, and upgrading multiple systems is a pain.
That said, it's time to embrace Windows 8 or at least plan on embracing Windows 10, which is due sometime (probably in the first half) next year. Start Menu aside, it really is like Windows 7.
Windows 7 is dead. Long live Windows 7.
Image credit: mendhak (Flickr)