Microsoft extends Windows downgrade rights

July 13, 2010 // 10:05 a.m.

Tags: #downgrade #windows-7 #windows-7-downgrade #windows-7-downgrade-rights #windows-xp #windows-xp-downgrade #xp-downgrade

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.

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