Microsoft is planning to get aggressive as it pushes Windows 10 into the personal computing marketplace. The company quietly updated its life cycle fact sheet page to show that Oct. 31, 2016, will be the cutoff point where computer makers will have to stop shipping PCs loaded with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
After that date, consumers who want to buy a Windows PC will have to take Windows 10 as it comes pre-installed. The move is a signal from Microsoft that it expects that by that point, consumer confidence in the new platform will be high enough to force a mass upgrade.
Last week, the company revealed plans to move the Windows 10 upgrade that shows up in Windows Update into the "recommended updates" section next year. That means that customers running genuine copies of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 with fully automatic updates enabled may see their computers switch over to Windows 10 without any user input.
Microsoft is expected to release a major update to Windows 10 this month, code-named "Threshold 2," that will bring several improvements left out of the initial launch version. Next year, Microsoft will move onto the next wave of updates -- known as "Redstone" -- that are set to make bigger changes to the way various devices interact with each other.
Microsoft aims to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 globally. Last month, the company revealed that there are 110 million devices now running the operating system, while the October market share figures by Netmarketshare shows Windows 10 has 7.94 percent of the marketplace. Windows 7, still in the lead, holds 55.71 percent.