Microsoft has updated its Windows lifecycle page with a deadline for the sale of OEM copies of Windows . All good things must come to an end, and Windows 7's last day of availability as an preinstalled operating system is October 31, 2016, a date that now matches Windows 8.1's cutoff. After that deadline, the only Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 PCs you'll find in stores will be leftover stock.
Amusingly enough, the cutoff date for Windows 8 will come sooner than for 7 or 8.1—the first "modern" version of Windows will see its last sale on June 30 of next year. The story's a little different when it comes to support windows, though (pun unintended). Windows 7 will still be supported until 2020, while Windows 8 will continue to see fixes until 2023.
By most accounts, Microsoft usually sets the date cutoff sale for a given version of Windows at two years after the release of the next version. Windows 7 sales were originally supposed to stop around October 2014, but the company made a rather big exception for Windows 7, perhaps due to Windows 8's poor reception.
Getting businesses to move to more recent versions of Windows has reportedly been difficult, so ZDNet's Ed Bott considers this move a display of confidence on Microsoft's part that businesses will finally move off Windows 7 and begin Windows 10 deployments.