As far as I'm concerned, W7 offers the best user experience still; People who have no interest in IT or computing come to me at work - out of the blue - and say "Windows 8 is awful, is there any way I can make my new laptop better?"
I start by pointing people in the direction of Classic Shell or Start 8 but I have done so many downgrades to 7 that I have lost count. Maybe two dozen reinstalls ago I started just using a sysprepped W7 image with all the common chipset drivers preloaded.
Historically Microsoft has never managed to persuade consumers that their latest product is better - consumers have made their own damn minds up - so if legal avenues of W7 acquisition dry up, people will turn to the not-so-legal alternatives.
(posted from my 8.1 HTPC)
Congratulations, you've noticed that this year's signature is based on outdated internet memes; CLICK HERE NOW to experience this unforgettable phenomenon. This sentence is just filler and as irrelevant as my signature.
Wonderful. I guess that means if I need to do another build, I'll have to give Linux another spin. I had already made up my mind for January 14, 2020 (last date of official MS support for WIn 7), but I guess this accelerates things a little bit.
Workstation: Phenom II X4 965 Every-Day: Athlon II X4 630 Servers: Athlon X2 BE-2400, A8-7600 Gym: Opteron 150
The only info I was able to find with a quick Google search was the Microsoft Windows lifecycle fact sheet, which indicates that the last sale dates for both retail and OEM versions are still TBD. Now, it is certainly possible that TBD means "when current stock runs out", but I wouldn't just assume that without some corroboration from MS and/or their channel partners.
*hugs his retail W7 Ultimate box bought months ago*
OEM shouldn't be affected--8 can downgrade to 7 just like 7 can downgrade to XP. I hadn't heard this officially but it doesn't surprise me given that major online retailers have had it out of stock a lot lately.
Users still have the right to tell an OEM they want to downgrade 8.1 back to 7, and the OEM is then required to oblige by providing a key. http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensi ... ights.aspx As long as the legitimate Win 7 download links are still active there's nothing stopping anyone from doing this.