[LAST CALL] For Windows 7 PCs

Category: Windows-7

So you've been happily using Windows 7 for years, but your computer is getting old, and really should be replaced. However, you don't want to buy one with Windows 8 or Windows 10. Good news -- you can still get a brand-new PC with Windows 7 pre-installed. But you’d better buy it soon. Here's the scoop...

Where Can I Buy a Windows 7 Computer?

Yes, you can still get a new PC running Windows 7. But you have only a few months to do so. Microsoft requires computer vendors to stop selling Win 7 systems by October 31, 2016. You may still find Win 7 PCs in the inventory of retailers for a while, but no new ones will appear.

Windows 7 will be supported by Microsoft until January 2020, but it's getting harder to find them for sale. I recently purchased on a Dell business PC that came with Windows 7 installed, and also included a CD with Windows 10. Here's a list of vendors and stores that are still offering Windows 7 desktops and laptops.

Tiger Direct lists over a dozen desktop models and some laptop/notebook models that can be ordered with Windows 7 instead of Windows 10. Some of them are new and others are refurbished with warranty.

Deadline to Buy a Windows 7 PC

A search at Best Buy turns up forty-seven Windows 7 desktop systems and ten laptops with Windows 7 pre-installed.

The HP Store seems to have discontinued Windows 7 desktops and laptops recently. But a search on that site revealed that you can still buy almost 200 HP computers that come with Windows 8 or 10 and "Windows 7 downgrade rights." For details on what's involved in the downgrade process, see this Understanding downgrade rights page from Microsoft.

Acer’s USA store offers only 4 desktop models that come with Win 7 pre-installed. You have to inspect the search results carefully here. When I selected the option to show only Windows 7 PCs, many of the ones shown actually came with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 pre-installed.

Dell and Homebrew Options

Dell’s search options can get confusing; here are all of the Dell "home user" computers that come with Windows 7 Pro installed. They include the XPS 8900 Desktop, the Inspirion Small Desktop, and the Latitude 13 Education Series (“built for schools").

But here's an important tip if you're interested in a Dell computer. Dell's "business class" computers are a great deal, and come with 3-year warranties instead of the 1-year warranty on their other models. Look for the OptiPlex and Precision models at Dell. In addition to the longer warranty, the business class computers tend to have a better build quality, and less crapware pre-installed.

In case you're curious, the model I got was the OptiPlex 3040 with a Core i5 processor. It came with only 4GB of RAM, but I purchased another 8GB from Crucial for just $28. I also installed a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD hard drive, and it runs as smooth as silk. :-)

Your best bet may be a custom-built “white box” put together by either a local computer sales and service store or an online build-your-own-system outfit like Puget Systems. With a roll-your-own system, you can specify the operating system to be pre-installed, or buy a bare-bones PC with no operating system and install your own copy.

It takes a moderate level of knowledge about PC components to specify a custom-built machine. Online, nationwide builders may offer some help and guidance, or base systems upon which you can build with options like the operating system, size of hard drive, etc. Putting them together is actually easier than finding the right parts. Most components snap into place, and the only tool you'll need is a screwdriver.

Computer vendors who offer new systems with Windows 7 must stop offering those machines on or before Microsoft’s deadline of October 31, 2016. Thereafter, only what remains in inventory will be available, until finally a Windows 7 PC will become as rare as hen’s teeth.

Finally, you can buy Windows 7 separately from a bare-bones computer and install the operating system yourself. There’s no telling how long retail, shrinkwrapped copies of Windows 7 will be available to consumers. Authorized Microsoft resellers were supposed to stop selling Windows 7 on October 31, 2013 - nearly three years ago. Shrinkwrapped copies are still floating around, many on eBay. Prices average around $100 for the Home edition.

Time is running out to buy Windows 7 PCs. But as I mentioned earlier, you needn't be concerned that they'll be unsupported. Windows 7 will continue to receive technical support and security patches from Microsoft through January 14, 2020. After that time, there will be no security updates for Windows 7; every day past the deadline means your operating system is growing more vulnerable to hackers and malware.

Are you in the market for a Windows 7 PC? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "[LAST CALL] For Windows 7 PCs"

Posted by:

17 Jun 2016

Hey Bob... I think you had a typo there... " It came with only 4MB of RAM, but I purchased another 8MB"... "MB"??? I think you mean "GB" (I briefly had a vision of the computers I used a loooong time ago) ;)

EDITOR'S NOTE: YES... gigabytes! Fixed now, thanks.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2016

Don't know why anyone wouldn't want to go with Windows 10 on a new computer. Why get a new computer with an old operating system that won't be supported soon? From what I hear 10's a cross between 7 and 8. Have to go with it eventually anyway.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2016

Re: "Don't know why anyone wouldn't want to go with Windows 10 on a new computer." -- Two reasons quickly come to mind... peripherals may not work with the new OS, as well as some software.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2016

@ RichF......The loss of Windows Media Center is a huge reason, for starters....

Posted by:

John Walter Daniel
17 Jun 2016

I'm building a new PC from parts, as I have always done, and I will be installing Windows 7. I tried Windows 10 and immediately noticed the font scaling problem. In Windows 10 any font size other than the default 100% will cause text on the screen to be a fat, gray, fuzzy, blurry mess. I've tried the various fixes which have been posted on-line but have not found them to be satisfactory. The blurry font problem (this is not an "issue") in Windows 10 is a total deal breaker for me. Microsoft needs to fix this and I will not be going to Windows 10 until it does. I think Bob should do an article on it. People need t know what they're getting themselves into before they waste a lot of time as I did.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2016

I'm sure there's places that WMC or an equivalent can be downloaded for use with W10. Here's one:


Posted by:

17 Jun 2016

I am retired. I need only browsing and my Win7 Pro software & audio utilities. I have built my own PCs for the past 15 years. I am currently using "Frankstein 3" with an SSD, dual monitors, and sound card. I am training myself on Ubuntu. It supports my current hardware. I don't want Win10 b/c of the privacy, design, and bug issues. Ditto anything of Google's creation. I have loaded Ubuntu on a separate SSD hard drive and exloring it. When Win7 is no longer supported, I will use Ubuntu on-line and Win7 off-line. I back up to a pair of 128GB flash drives, readable in both OS. I have Libre Office and Firefox on both OS and they are good enough for what I do. Thanks, Bob. Peace.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2016

Many thanks to RichF with the link to install WMC on Windows 10. I never thought to even look for that. I tried Kodi but never could get all of the codecs worked out for 100% smooth playback, so I've kept my PVR running Windows 7. I may give it a try with Windows 10 now. Maybe I'm planning too far ahead, but I like the longer Microsoft support period that Windows 10 has versus Windows 7.

Posted by:

Robert A.
18 Jun 2016

Regarding building one's own computer from parts: I've read several articles on the internet that indicate it may be worth it to do so only when one is building a high-end unit, such as a deluxe gaming computer, or possibly one built to use for vigorous video production, similar to those used at Pixar. These computers costing $1000, or more, utilize the latest and greatest Intel Core i7 CPUs, with heavy-duty cooling, top-of-the-line, high-end mother boards, 1000+ watt modular power supplies, 1TB or greater solid-state drives, monster Radeon video cards, etc. Such computer configurations are typically not offered by the desktop manufacturers, and are more likely to remain state-of-the-art for a longer time than a unit purchased off the shelf.

For building a mid-range computers, such as those with an Core i5 CPU, or AMD equivalent, in the $500-$900 range, using mid-range components, studies have shown the cost is pretty much a wash compared to pre-built units sold off the shelf.

However, with computers built with the low-end chips, such as the Core i3 CPU, or an AMD equivalent, in the $250-$400 range, and using basic, low-end components, and designed for minimal use such as email, YouTube video watching, internet surfing, etc., the articles have indicated that is it more economical to buy a pre-packaged unit than to go through all the time and money to build one from scratch.

Posted by:

Sam Hagen
18 Jun 2016

I already did that - bought a computer off a bloke who builds and sells them in E Bay with or without OS. And put my W 7 on it. Gigabyte Computer. Had it 2 years now and its the best to date. My Dell was on last legs and only W8 in retailers bit like today with only W10. I mean would you go buy new with that lemon? M$ seems to do one good OS now and then like XP and Windows 7 but lemons in between yet dont build their own computers so maximize on sales of these ha ha. Mind you glad they dont after Vista, 8 and now W10. Still having to watch those updates. I really am disappointed in what is almost criminal behaviour as they try to "steal" my paid for W7 OS off of my paid for computer and replace it with some OS I haven't given them permission to replace.
Really someone mentioned a class action ?

Posted by:

Pat C.
18 Jun 2016

I've never messed with Win. 7. I went from XP to 8.1 when my old and trusted XP machine went belly-up. Then I got the 'Update to Windows 10' and went for it. Why not? Windows 7? Did miss anything important?

Posted by:

Pat C.
18 Jun 2016

Attn: Cho. What is so special about Windows Media Center? Educate me. There's a lot better out there and all you need do is look.

Posted by:

Jillian S
18 Jun 2016

Very useful information, Bob. I'll be holding onto Windows 7 until 2020. I was at Best Buy and asked a clerk to show me the Windows 10 in operation and really, I could not see any reason at all that I would want it. Maybe he just didn't know how to show me the right features...

Posted by:

18 Jun 2016

If we buy available W7 units, save them for later. Do we have to fire them up to get the updates from day one before 2020? Or MS doing a dvd with all updates, that can be bought so we can use later too?

Posted by:

23 Jul 2016

Sam Hagen - I did the same as you about 2 yrs ago and bought a new core i3 pc supplied with a Win7pro disc and haven't looked back. My wife, on the other hand bought a new, cheap dual core H.P. pc with win8 which basically was rubbish. I doubled the RAM to 4GB and downloaded win10, but it was still slower than a dead snail, even for basic stuff. She's now gone back to using her old Vista pc, and when finances permit, will allow me to buy her a bare-bones pc with a supplied disc.

Posted by:

25 Jul 2016

@RJ: you might have a look at Linux Mint (based off of Ubuntu). Quite polished & a nicer lead-in to Linux from MS. I've been running it exclusively for about 7 years now. Like you, I have issues w/W10 & the "phoning home", built-in, opted-in MS B.S. Apple ain't much better, BTW.

RE: value of building your own vs. store-bought. They are miles apart. Choosing the motherboard, PSU, & CPU + graphics is the only way to assure the quality of what you're paying for. You also control the case- which is fairly important to those with aesthetic tastes. Obviously, with building, there is a sense of experience, pride & accomplishment as well- upon which no price tag can be put. It's like growing veg vs. buying- growing is seldom cheaper, but always a much better product.

RE: Win 7. Best OS MS ever produced. Id' place it above even the venerable XP. It's a shame that MS decided that "innovation" means to "change the name & location" of existing programs & settings, whilst stripping away the basic items most people relied on (Media Center, ability to play a DVD movie, MS Games, etc). Win 10 is a train-wreck of pieces of the past three OS's with privacy issues injected & LOTS of changed names for no actual reason. It even has the control panel from Win 7 + the "settings" panel newly introduced in Win 8+. What a nightmare OS it is!

In closing, I'll stick with Mint for myself & continue my MS VM's for support purposes for my clients. Microsoft has never been about innovation, I think most know this. Deep-down, they are about business & money & always have been. It's a shame for us all that Gates came along & basically monopolized tech at it's very infancy. Who knows what great ideas were never brought to fruition due to it?

Posted by:

David Ulrich
25 Jul 2016

Without any...specific knowledge in-mind, per se: I'd think Microsoft's..."moves"--OUTRAGEOUS within theirs believing other people's computers ARE THEIRS to dictate operating changes, for starters--are a bottom line attempt to be "skimming" off all those pennies-earned via advertisers being lined up through...them? Like? If you can't make REAL people-serving "improvements", actual ones: why not SKIM the populace, otherwise? "Harvesting"...machines (theirs Win 10 ones), truly? My "take" impressions-wise, only...? Force-of-will..."dictatorial", essentially? Win 7...HOLD ON!!?

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