Microsoft has stopped selling the consumer version of its Windows 7 software, which means upgrading customers will have to opt for 8.1 or a newer version.

The software giant revealed in April that October 31 was the last day Windows 7 and Windows 8 would be available from retail stores.

This means it’s no longer possible to buy the software on CD or download it, or get a new PC or laptop with Windows 7 installed.

This applies to the Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate editions of the operating system.

This means if you want to buy Windows you’ve got the choice of buying Windows 8.1 or waiting until Windows 10 is unveiled in 2015.

The business edition of the operating system, Windows 7 Professional, will still be available for a year or so preinstalled on PCs and laptops. Predominantly because many businesses didn’t upgrade to Windows 8.

With its innovative Metro interface replacing the start screen, Windows 8 was dramatically different to Windows 7 – but it was deemed too different by many users and was not a consumer hit.

Numbers from Netmarketshare (which tracks browser use) reveals that Windows 7 is still the OS of choice, with 53% followed by 17.18% for Windows XP, 10.92% for Windows 8.1 and 5.88% for Windows 8.

In September Microsoft unveiled Windows 10, which moved towards a Windows experience more akin to Windows 7.

[Related story: Windows 10 – everything you need to know]

Microsoft has confirmed it will continue to support Windows 7 until Jan 13, 2015, with extended support offered until Jan 14, 2020.

 

What version of Windows do you use? Are you happy with Windows 7? Will you upgrade to Windows 10? Let us know in the Comments below.