The ability to downgrade Windows 7 to a previous version has been a hot topic these last few days and can be quite confusing, so I thought I’d put a post together to help make it clear what the rules will be :-)
Windows 7 Pro & Windows 7 Ultimate OEM licences will be able to downgrade to Vista for an unlimited amount of time.
Windows 7 Pro & Windows 7 Ultimate OEM licences will be able to downgrade to XP Pro for 18 months only or until a Service Pack is released, whichever is first.
Q: What is an OEM licence?
A: OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” and these are licences that come pre-installed on PCs when you buy them from PC World, Dixon’s etc.
Q: What about OEM licences of Windows 7 Home or Starter?
A: The OEM EULAs of these version do not permit downgrade rights.
Q: What if I purchase Windows 7 through Volume Licensing?
A: The versions of Windows 7 available through Volume Licensing (Open, Open Value, Schools, Select, EA ) will contine to have full downgrade rights to any previous version without time restrictions.
There are lots of people saying lots of things about this but I don’t really see it as being too much of an issue. In a nutshell, Microsoft are saying that after June 2011 the majority of home users won’t be able to downgrade a new PC to an OS that is 9 years old.
When you really think about it-who will want to? In 2 years-will there really be any reason for people to be using XP? I don’t think so. The applications that won’t work on Windows 7 will have been replaced with new, Windows 7 compatible versions and all will be good :-)