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