As of October 22, per the new lifecycle changes introduced by the Redmond company, sales of boxed versions of Vista were discontinued, almost three years after the OS hit store shelves. New computers shipping with Vista will continue to be available to customers until Oct'22nd, 2011, but Microsoft's noting that the vast majority of OEMs and system builders have embraced Windows 7.
"End of Sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMs are Dell and Toshiba -- PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software. When a version of Windows reaches its End of Sales date, it's a good time to think about upgrading," Microsoft explained.
"Note that when the packaged software product reaches its retail End of Sales date, it can still be purchased through OEMs (the company that made your PC) until it reaches the End of Sales date for OEMs."
Similarly, sales of boxed copies of Windows 7 will be discontinued 1 year after the release of Windows 8, with Win7 surviving on new PCs for two more years after Win8 hits store shelves.
Meanwhile Vista's usage share on the OS market is down to 12.6% and is continuing to shrink as more and more users upgrade to Win7.