If you want a new PC but would prefer to get one with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8, then you’d better realize that your window is slowly closing. Paul Thurrott writes that Microsoft has officially set a deadline of October 31st, 2014 as the last day it will allow manufacturing partners to preload the assort Home editions of Windows 7 onto new machines. After that point, every new consumer-targeted PC they make will need to have some variation of Windows 8. The good news for Windows 7 fans, however, is that they still might be able to get new Windows 7 PCs through their work even after the last new Windows 7 consumer PC has been sold because Microsoft has extended the deadline for OEMs to preinstall Windows 7 Pro onto business PCs.
UPDATE: This article’s original headline may have given the impression that October 31st would be the end of all Windows 7 PCs and not just consumer PCs. The headline has been changed to add this clarification. ZDNet’s Ed Bott also notes that OEMs will keep selling Windows 8 PCs that users can downgrade to Windows 7 Pro if they want through October 31st, 2015. So even if you buy a Windows 8 PC and don’t like it, there’s a good chance that you’ll still be able to downgrade it to Windows 7 if you want.