Microsoft is giving PC retailers one more year to sell machines with Windows 7 installed. The company this week updated its "Windows lifecycle fact sheet" to extend pre-installed sales of Windows 7 Professional to October 31, 2016.

Microsoft stopped selling Windows 7 directly on October 31, 2013, and would have ceased supporting it a long time ago. But thanks to widespread dislike of Windows 8, many PC users continued to buy Windows 7 PCs — and refused to upgrade — long after it was replaced.

As a result, Microsoft has been forced to extend Windows 7 support longer than it would have originally planned, and it will continue to ship Windows 7 Professional to retailers and OEMs until October 31, 2016. Support for Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate ended last October.

Thanks to this extension, Windows 7 Professional won't be taken off the market until the same day Windows 8.1 is pulled. It will actually be available for four months longer than Windows 8, which will no longer be shipped to retailers and OEMs after June 30, 2016.

If you buy a Windows 7 PC between now and next October, Microsoft will continue to support it with software updates and technical assistance until January 14, 2020 — at which point, the company will finally turn its back on Windows 7, as it did with XP last April.