Microsoft filled in a very significant blank on its Windows lifecycle chart, just before the weekend. The headlining change was to the "End of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled," for Windows 7. The new data informs us that Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate will all get axed from sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled from 31st October. However Windows 7 Professional lives on for system builders with its preinstalled end of sales "Not yet established".
When we previously reported on Windows 7 end of sale dates Microsoft made no distinction between Home and Pro versions of the software. Thus some sites have reported the news as an early chop for the Home versions of Windows 7 while other sites have headlined this news as a life extension for Pro versions of Windows 7.
In a report on ZDNet, senior business program manager of the Windows business planning team, Shad Larsen, was quoted as saying that the Windows 7 Pro extension is not due to the impending XP-ocalypse, which is less than 2 months away. Larsen said the reason for the Win 7 Pro extension was because the OS "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," wrote Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet.
The extension for Windows 7 Pro brought into question the date for the end of mainstream support for Windows 7 (see the chart above). It seemed odd that OEMs will be selling Windows 7 PCs past the date that Microsoft has put forward as the end of mainstream support for the OS. In answer to this query a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet that the OEMs will fill in with their (usually) one year warranty support. Also Microsoft's extended support for Windows 7 (SP1) is available until 14th January 2020.