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Microsoft extends Windows downgrade rights

Microsoft extends Windows downgrade rights

The right to downgrade your Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate install is now valid for the lifespan of the OS.

As Microsoft prepares the first service pack for Windows 7 - the milestone that many corporate customers are awaiting before taking the plunge and upgrading their networks - Windows XP has once again proven itself the little OS that just wouldn't die.

According to an article over on CNET, Microsoft has announced that the downgrade rights offered to buyers of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will now cover the entire lifecycle of the product. Previously Microsoft had set a deadline of the launch of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, after which the option to downgrade a newly purchased machine to an earlier version of Windows free of charge would no longer be available.

The new rules come as a result of feedback from corporate customers, who Microsoft describes as telling the company that "removing end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional could be confusing, given the rights change would be made for new PCs preinstalled for Windows 7, and managing a hybrid environment with PCs that have different end-user rights based on date of purchase would be challenging to track."

As a result, the right to downgrade to Windows XP will now be inviolate in all pre-installed versions of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate, no matter how new the PC might be. Clearly Microsoft's original hope that the integrated virtualisation technology would encourage corporate types to upgrade to Windows 7 across their organisation has yet to prove true.

Are you amazed to see Microsoft still offering support for Windows XP, or have you yet to see a compelling reason to upgrade to any of the newer releases of Windows? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

24 Comments

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LeMaltor 13th July 2010, 11:22 Quote
Go XP Go!!!!
confusis 13th July 2010, 11:40 Quote
XP = epic OS

Dare I say it - Microsoft was on to a winner with XP - TBH they still haven't topped it (compared to each new release's previous generation, like XP over 2000)
Pooeypants 13th July 2010, 11:48 Quote
I used XP until WIn 7 was matured but even I truly believe it should be confined to the archives. Time to let that old fossil lay to rest, because in computer terms, it is ancient...
crazyceo 13th July 2010, 11:53 Quote
I have to say it but I feel this is purely down to lazy IT (so called) professionals who refuse to study up on Server2008 and Windows 7. Yes I know it costs money to take the courses but in this ever changing industry you cannot sit on the fence and grab your comfort XP blanket because you can't do your own job anymore!

I've met countless businesses in my line of work who are using Windows7 friendly thirdparty software but have just been sold a new IT system with XP as it's foundation. That is an absolute disgrace and the sooner these dinosaurs leave the industry the better!
eddtox 13th July 2010, 11:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
As a result, the right to downgrade to Windows XP will now be inviolate in all pre-installed versions of Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Ultimate, no matter how new the PC might be.

Shouldn't that be 7?

Anyway, does this mean that you could downgrade to Vista as well? Sounds like a bargain - buy 7, get vista and XP free.
Phalanx 13th July 2010, 11:54 Quote
Windows 7 is much, much better than XP. I used to be firmly in the "I'm not leaving XP" camp, until I built my new machine and decided to try it. Windows 7 is much better, and nowhere near as bad as people think it is. It's got the stability of Windows XP mixed in with better user-friendliness and looks. Overall, Windows 7 is what Vista should have been.

It's time to let go of XP, and with that, let go of 32-bit OSes.
azrael- 13th July 2010, 11:56 Quote
I bought Win7 Pro in last year's pre-order deal, but have yet to install it. While I generally find Win7 quite good and massively better than Vista there're some things (particularly in regard to the UI), which put me off Win7. I'm hoping SP1 will address them, but I'm not holding my breath...
Gareth Halfacree 13th July 2010, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Shouldn't that be 7?
Don't know what you're talking about.
vampalan 13th July 2010, 12:26 Quote
There's a whole host of reason not to upgrade, those with machines circa 2003-5 (P4/AGP), wont get much luck with *full* hardware compatibility. Two examples I have here at home is ATi 9800 XT, and a Logitech Webcam 3000Pro, no driver support.
leexgx 13th July 2010, 12:41 Quote
xp is only going to be supported for 5 more years (2015? I think support ends)

do not see why this was needed

vista I understand as it every bad on the system, where ad win7 works well on low end systems
DriftCarl 13th July 2010, 13:00 Quote
I managed to get a new PC at work ordered and I have a nice quad core with 6 gig RAM soon to be ready.
it even came with windows XP pre-installed already downgraded from windows 7.
I had to ditch that and put 7 back on.
XP has had a good innings and I know my way around the OS like the back of my hand. but it is indeed time to move on.
rollo 13th July 2010, 14:19 Quote
vista isnt that poor i know most say its really made of epic fail but i used it for 2-3 years without issues. Its stable enough and driver support like all 64bit os can be a bit wierd but if your using mostly modern products

vista is better than xp even

win 7 is better than both
Bauul 13th July 2010, 14:23 Quote
Like many, I was firmyl in the XP camp all through Vista, but as soon as I tried Win7 there was no looking back. Trying to do anything on XP without Snap and auto-preview in Alt-Tab just makes me feel fustrated.
mi1ez 13th July 2010, 16:39 Quote
Enough XP! Give it up businesses, it's time has gone.
yakyb 13th July 2010, 18:38 Quote
why give it up? it works for what most companies need from an OS,

Outlook, Share Point, word, Excel, power point , printing and .net

until something is no longer supported why migrate?

i agree that any new computer coming to the office that has win7 should remain that way in theory, but it is easier to keep one client profile if your existing PCs are all xp (both in terms of maintenance and administration)

Proudly posted from a WIndows 7 machine in an office :)
frontline 13th July 2010, 19:21 Quote
I'm not sure that XP is the main problem - rather the number of large organisations using out of date hardware and then don't understand why they have poor productivity or experience negative feedback from the users. Saying that, i personally think that WIn 7 is by far the best MS OS that i've used.
LordPyrinc 14th July 2010, 02:22 Quote
XP Professional was great, but IMHO, Windows 7 is just as good if not better. I've had no stability issues and not a single crash since installing in December last year. I use my PC predominately for gaming.

I did have problems trying to run one of my old favorite racing games, EVO2 4x4, but I think that's because of the 64 bit OS more than anything else. At least that gave me an excuse to hook up the HP Pavilion (Vista 32 bit) to my 40" Samsung 1080p flatscreen to play it. OMG! That game is so much better on the big screen. I can see why some people prefer consoles these days if they are playing on a decent size high def TV.
The_Beast 14th July 2010, 03:10 Quote
I still don't see the point in upgrading my PC, I'll probably wait until I build my next PC to install Win 7


Once I get a laptop for college I'll be running win 7, XP Pro and Ubuntu, hopefully I won't have any issues
Javerh 14th July 2010, 07:47 Quote
There are still plenty of companies using XP to run DOS-based programs.
logonui 14th July 2010, 10:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
I have to say it but I feel this is purely down to lazy IT (so called) professionals who refuse to study up on Server2008 and Windows 7. Yes I know it costs money to take the courses but in this ever changing industry you cannot sit on the fence and grab your comfort XP blanket because you can't do your own job anymore!

I've met countless businesses in my line of work who are using Windows7 friendly thirdparty software but have just been sold a new IT system with XP as it's foundation. That is an absolute disgrace and the sooner these dinosaurs leave the industry the better!

This isn't strictly true. I am an "IT Professional" and I would love to upgrade the whole corporation to Windows 7. Unfortunately you have to take into account the users who need the system to do their job. The training doesn't only cover the people who have to administer the new system, everyday users have to be retrained as well and when you are talking about 800+ people that takes both time and a ludicrous amount of money. I know that most people who visit this site are able to pick up a new OS and learn their way around relatively quickly, non tech savy people tend to panic when introduced to something new.

You also have to take into account drivers for old hardware that just won't work on 7, that will all have to be replaced (back to money again).

Not every company can justify that sort of expenditure especially when they will likely loose money whilst the users learn their way around the new system rather than working.
Phalanx 14th July 2010, 11:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
I have to say it but I feel this is purely down to lazy IT (so called) professionals who refuse to study up on Server2008 and Windows 7. Yes I know it costs money to take the courses but in this ever changing industry you cannot sit on the fence and grab your comfort XP blanket because you can't do your own job anymore!

I've met countless businesses in my line of work who are using Windows7 friendly thirdparty software but have just been sold a new IT system with XP as it's foundation. That is an absolute disgrace and the sooner these dinosaurs leave the industry the better!

It's not about studying up. I'm almost at the end of my MCITP: Enterprise Server Admin training and can honestly say it's not the IT departments who are the issue. Any decent, knowledgeable IT professional will know that Windows 7 is the better choice here, however it comes down to various things:

- Time
- Money
- Users

The time factor is what is involved in rolling out the new systems. Money is pretty obvious. Users comes down to lack of knowledge and training. All this compounded together is 99% of the time what causes new technology to fall behind in business. Businesses are here to make money, and if Windows XP is working and nothing is going wrong and it is still supported, then it makes no sense for the business to spend money on upgrading the operating systems when the current system does the job just as well.

So yeah, the "lazy IT professionals" you mentioned, are pretty much all behind Windows 7. I bloody hate XP now. I use Windows 7 and Server 2008 at home and love them. It's much easier to use, whereas at work I am stuck with going through longer routes to get things done due to using Windows XP and Server 2003. Even the old DOS-based programs that people have mentioned, work fine in Windows 7, thanks to the XP mode infrastructure they added.
Iorek 14th July 2010, 11:39 Quote
I wouldn't mind them killing XP so much, if they had an alternative for "older" hardware - not everyone wants to, or needs to upgrade to dual core 4GB+ ram just have their OS run acceptably. Businesses etc shouldn't need to upgrade everything every few years just to keep on top of the OS when the PC use doesn't really change. A bit of internet, word processing, email etc.

Vista / 7 on a P4 / 1GB ram is too slow imo once you've added things like a virus scanner etc.
azrael- 14th July 2010, 12:38 Quote
Like I said, the deal breaker for me with Windows 7 are some of the new (UI) choices, specifically that inane auto-sorting when you e.g. copy a file to a folder or extract an archive to a folder.

Also, not having a proper Explorer ticks me off. I know many users do it the "Mac" way, but I want a proper two-pane Explorer like the one in XP. There's probably some 3rd party version which would work as I want/need it, but why change that in the first place? Seems a lot of the changes are simply for changes' sake.

Some other things that tick me off are the way the new Start menu behaves and how I can no longer uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" without seeing desktop.ini files on the desktop.
leslie 14th July 2010, 18:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-

Also, not having a proper Explorer ticks me off. I know many users do it the "Mac" way, but I want a proper two-pane Explorer like the one in XP. There's probably some 3rd party version which would work as I want/need it, but why change that in the first place? Seems a lot of the changes are simply for changes' sake.

Explorer was made to be like Mac (I think), and I hate it too.

I'm convinced "change for the sake of change" must be a secret Microsoft motto.
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