Microsoft is planning to make sure PC makers only install Windows 10 on new machines next year. On October 31st 2016, OEMs like Dell, HP, and Lenovo will all have to stop shipping new PCs with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 pre-installed. Instead, Microsoft wants all new machines to ship with Windows 10. ZDNet points out that this is a little sooner than usual, as Microsoft normally sets an end-of-sales date for older versions of Windows two years after the launch of a new version.
Microsoft extended that policy during the Windows 8 era to allow PC makers to continue to pre-install Windows 7. HP used the extension as a marketing effort to bring Windows 7 PCs back "by popular demand." At the time the software maker said it would give OEMs a year's notice, and it's clear that Microsoft feeds confident enough with Windows 10 to push PC makers to preinstall it next year. It comes alongside Microsoft's move to automatically download the Windows 10 install files to Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines next year. Consumers will still have a choice to upgrade, but Microsoft is being a lot more aggressive in its approach to reach 1 billion devices running Windows 10.