We know that there are plenty of users out there who are still holding out on updating their computers to Windows 10. Maybe they don’t have the hardware for it, or maybe they’re just too used to their current version of Windows that they can’t bring themselves to make the switch, but it looks like we now have a deadline.
If you are planning on buying a new PC and you don’t want it to have Windows 10 preinstalled, there are probably some OEMs out there who will be happy to oblige by offering Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. However like we said there is a deadline, and that deadline has been set for the 31st of October 2016.
What this means is that new computers after that date must come with Windows 10 preinstalled. According to Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle fact sheet, “When Microsoft launches a new version of Windows, we will continue to allow OEMs to sell PCs preinstalled with the previous version for up to two years after the launch date of the new version unless otherwise announced.”
Note that this is only applicable to new computers that you buy. If you wish to keep using Windows 7 or 8/8.1 on your current computer, you are more than welcome to. However we should point out that the free upgrade Microsoft is offering is only valid for the first year, after which you will have to pay. In the meantime Microsoft is also taking steps to ensure wider adoption by changing Windows 10’s status from an optional upgrade to a recommended one starting in 2016.