While you can’t get Windows 7 Retail, OEM, or even from your favorite IT Consultant or Vendor, and you certainly can’t upgrade a current Home Premium version to Pro or possibly Ultimate. There are certain machine vendors, Lenovo, HP and a few others where you can get Windows 10 machines that come pre-loaded with Windows 7 Pro. However, these offerings are getting fewer and farther between and eventually will go away too. And very soon!

Microsoft has retired Windows 7 faster than any other previous operating system in its history and is forcing people to upgrade to Windows 8 by making it nearly impossible for folks to get Windows 7. Unless, of course, you happen to know someone who still has connections to a vendor still offering the Windows 7 downgrade.

Well, they tried, but the out-cry and pressure was so great that Microsoft relented and extended End Of Life for Windows 7 just a few more years.

A few facts about Windows 7 Life Cycle

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

Essentially, they’re closing the books on Windows 7 in January 2015 which means that’s when it will no longer be available anywhere for any reason and extended support (updates and such) in 2020. Even more surprising is they’ve already got the end of life marked down for Windows 8 and it’s only been officially out of the gate for 6 months!

It’s interesting… I posted this four years ago as of this date: Dec. 22, 2017, and you can still get Windows 7 Pro as a pre-loaded OS on some Vendors’ Systems; at least I can, but they really are – this time – getting harder and harder to find. You certainly won’t find it on computers sold at Best Buy, Stables, or you-name-your-favorite-computer-gear-store. Over the last 6 months I’ve seen Windows 7 pre-loaded systems drying up faster than a puddle in the desert. As a solutions provider I’ve been deploying Windows 10 machines for months now, and when I machine does come pre-loaded with Windows 7 it generally and almost always gets upgraded to Windows 10. It’s time…

I’m glad Microsoft extended the End Of Life for Windows 7 because it was REALLY necessary. Windows 8 had a miserable learning curve and annoyed people and then Windows 10 first came out – don’t even get me started – Microsoft regularly released an update that broke the system in some fashion. (my laptop became a casualty twice, and Reddit is full of posts from users trying to figure out how to get their systems back from a failed version release (feature release) update.

Thankfully, with feature release 1703, and the more recent feature release Fall Creators Update (1709) they seem to have stabilized things much more. I have one or two machines I care for that have had issues with 1703 and have had to do a factory reset on, but over all Windows 10 is getting better. I still don’t care for the Windows 10 menu and, in fact, when I deploy a new system I have to adjust things. Thankfully, there’s a very nice, clean, and cost-effective alternative to the Windows 10 Start menu: StarDock Start 10.  You can download it and try it for free, but after 30 days trial, you must purchase it for the princely sum of $4.99 and it’s worth every penny. It’s a very well behaved program and the best $5 dollars you’ll spend on your computer.

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