[LAST CALL] For Windows 7 PCs
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.
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...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 Jun 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [LAST CALL] For Windows 7 PCs (Posted: 17 Jun 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved