Microsoft may be ending Windows 8 software retail sales on Friday, October 31, but the company has another deadline that it claims it will follow on the same day. Friday will be the final day that PC hardware OEMs will be able to purchase most editions of Windows 7 so they can be pre-installed on new PCs.
According to Microsoft's Windows lifecycle fact sheet, OEM sales of Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate will cease on Friday. However, there is one small but important exception. Microsoft will still sell copies of Windows 7 Professional to OEMs after Friday and Microsoft has yet to set up a deadline for those sales to end.
The distinction is important because many businesses have yet to upgrade their PCs that use the 13 year old Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer supports. Yet they also don't want to buy PCs that have the latest version of the OS, Windows 8.1. So it would appear that Microsoft is allowing PC makers to give businesses what they want; a version of Windows 7 when they buy their new systems that doesn't have to be downgraded from Windows 8.1. Some companies may wait even longer for the launch of [Windows 10](http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-10 in 2015 to finish their PC upgrade process, since it will have the Start menu on the desktop like Windows 7.
Do you think Microsoft made the right choice in allowing Windows 7 Professional OEM sales to continue or should they end them along with all the rest of the Windows 7 SKUs?