For most Windows 7 users, moving to a new device with Windows 11 is the recommended path forward. Today's PCs are faster, lightweight yet powerful, and more secure, with an average price that's considerably less than that of the average PC eight years ago. To find the best PC for you, browse for compatible Windows 11 PCs.
If you continue to use Windows 7 now that support has ended, your PC will still work, but it will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Your PC will continue to start and run, but will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft.
Windows 7 can still be installed and activated after end of support; however, it will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses due to the lack of security updates. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft strongly recommends that you use a newer version of Windows instead of Windows 7.
For any software not currently available in Microsoft Store, we recommend going to that company's official website and downloading the Windows 11 version from there. In limited circumstances, some older software may not have an updated version that's compatible with Windows 11.
Support for Windows 7 came to an end on January 14, 2020. You are receiving notifications as a Windows 7 customer to remind you that your device is no longer supported and no longer receiving security updates. We recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 11. More information on the notification is available here.
Six years later, Windows 7 is in the rear-view mirror. Most of the deals listed in those original posts are no longer available. But it is indeed still possible to find great deals on PCs running Windows 7, if you know where to look. It's also possible to tweak and tune newer Windows versions so that they are functionally equivalent to Windows 7.
If you navigate your way through the confusing maze of Windows licensing rules, you'll find that the best deals go to PC manufacturers, which means you'll find the best new and refurbished PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled and ready to run.
If you just need the software, you can still buy Windows 7 software in shrink-wrapped retail and OEM packages, sometimes at prices that are literally too good to be true. If you're an IT pro or developer who needs Windows 7 for testing, you also have subscription options, although they're less of a deal than they were six years ago. For students, the best options come with newer versions of Windows.
My goal in this post is to point you to deals that customers legitimately qualify for. I am not trying to encourage attempts by anyone to get away with something you're not entitled to. If there are restrictions for a specific offer, I've noted them here.
Yes, big-name PC makers can still install Windows 7 on new PCs. There's a catch, though: As of October 31, 2014, any new PCs they offer must include the more expensive Windows 7 Professional. Machines that were manufactured before that date with Windows 7 Home Premium can still be sold.
Normally, the sales lifecycle for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled would have ended long ago, but Microsoft extended that deadline in February 2014. PC manufacturers will no longer be able to sell new PCs with Windows 7 Pro as of October 31, 2016, (For details, see \"What the Windows 7 Pro sales lifecycle changes mean to consumers and business buyers.\")
The trick in shopping for these machines is to skip the front door and go straight for the business section. Among online merchants, for example, Dell offers filters to show all available desktops and all-in-ones and laptops running Windows 7. HP has separate pages for business desktops and laptops, but you have to look at each model to find the models with Windows 7 available.
I don't recommend taking a chance with random sellers on eBay or Craigslist--not when there are so many well-established merchants that offer proper warranties and return policies, as well as an assurance that the underlying Windows license is legitimate.
Under Microsoft's arcane licensing rules, you can legitimately purchase OEM copies of Windows 7 (any edition). However, the license agreement with those copies explicitly prohibits you from using that software on a PC you build or refurbish for your own personal use. Crazy, huh
To make the subject even more confusing, Microsoft briefly changed its licensing rules with Windows 8, adding a Personal Use Rights clause that allowed individuals to buy OEM Windows and install it on personal PCs. That change lasted exactly one year: with the launch of Windows 8.1, Microsoft restored the old licensing terms.
The bottom line Yes, you can install an OEM copy of Windows 7 on a PC for your own personal use; I recommend that you avoid doing so for your business, however, especially if you have a licensing agreement with Microsoft.
If you purchase a new PC with a business version of Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 already installed by the manufacturer, the license agreement gives you the right to downgrade to Windows 7 Professional. So if your PC originally came with Windows 8/8.1/10 Pro, you can replace the installed operating system with Windows 7 Professional at no cost.
Note that downgrade rights are not included on systems that ship with the core version of Windows 8, 8.1, or 10. Likewise, OEM System Builder copies of Windows 8.x and later do not include downgrade rights.
If the PC on which you want to install Windows 7 originally included a license for any version of Windows, you can buy a Windows 7 upgrade license from any vendor that has the software in stock and install that upgrade on your PC. You don't need to reinstall the old operating system; if you want to perform a clean install using upgrade media, you can use the workaround I describe in this post: Boot from the upgrade media and do an installation without entering a product key. Then use the same media to \"upgrade\" your brand-new installation.
The most expensive option is to purchase a full retail license for Windows 7. It's guaranteed to work with any PC, with no installation or licensing complications. The problem is finding this software, which Microsoft stopped selling years ago. Most online merchants today offer only OEM copies of Windows 7.
Sadly, Microsoft ended the TechNet subscription service in 2013. But there are still useful options available to anyone who needs Windows 7 in a lab or virtual machine. Windows 7 evaluation versions are also no longer available.
Every MSDN subscription includes access to the latest version of Windows with multiple activations. You can choose from different levels of MSDN subscriptions. The cheapest is the MSDN Operating Systems subscription, which costs $699 for the first year and $499 for renewals. It offers full access to every client and server version of Windows (going as far back as Windows 3.1).
Prices go up for other editions, with different MSDN subscription levels including access to other Microsoft software, toolkits, and SDKs as well as credit for Microsoft Azure. For a full list of available packages, see this chart.
Many MSDN subscribers use a computer for mixed use--both design, development, testing, and demonstration of your programs (the use allowed under the MSDN Subscription license) and some other use. Using the software in any other way, such as for doing email, playing games, or editing a document is another use and is not covered by the MSDN Subscription license. When this happens, the underlying operating system must also be licensed normally by purchasing a regular copy of Windows such as the one that came with a new OEM PC.
For most Windows 7 users, moving directly to a new device with Windows 11 is the recommended path forward. Today's computers are faster and more powerful and come with Windows 11 already installed. To find the best PC for you, browse for compatible Windows 11 PCs.
During the upgrade, you might be asked to free up space on your device or attach an external drive with sufficient space to continue with the upgrade. If you attach an external drive, make sure to keep it in a safe place after the upgrade in case you need it for recovery options.
Although organizations can purchase ESU at any time, they won't have received bug fixes or security updates since January 14, 2020 without ESU. Additionally, Microsoft Support no longer provides any form of support for these customers.
Yes. Because the updates are cumulative, organizations must pay for the preceding years if they purchase Windows 7 ESU for the first time in year two or year three. That is, customers must have purchased coverage for year 1 of ESU in order to buy year 2, and coverage for year 2 in order to buy year 3. Customers may buy coverage for previous years at the same time they buy coverage for a current period. It's unnecessary to buy a certain period of coverage within that coverage period.
No. Customers that purchase directly from Microsoft (for example, VL customers or CSP direct Partners) can use an active support contract, such as Software Assurance or Premier or Unified Support, to request assistance with Windows 7. Partners can also use their Partner Support Plans to request assistance for Windows 7.
Yes. CSP direct Partners can use their existing Partner Support plans to request assistance for Windows 7 ESU if the customer has purchased ESU. Resellers should work together with their CSP indirect Partners to request assistance for Windows 7 questions regarding devices that are covered by ESU.
All ESU customers must call Microsoft Support in order to place a request for a technical support incident. Premier and Unified customers can find the correct number to call within Services Hub. Non-Premier and Unified customers can find the correct number to call on the Global Customer Service phone numbers page.
We continue to work to fully automate the validation process. If a customer purchased ESU as part of their Enterprise Agreement, an agent can verify the purchase by asking for the customer's Enterprise Agreement number or for the full customer name. To locate their Agreement Number, a customer can sign in to Volume License Service Center, and go to Licenses > License Summary. Typically, the License Summary displays recently purchased licenses within 24 hours after Microsoft receives a customer order from a Microsoft Partner. 59ce067264