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Windows 7 downgrade to XP supported through 2020

Posted at 14 July 2010 00:00 CET by wconeybeer

Personal and business customers who purchase Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate, will have the right to downgrade to Windows XP until the end of the Windows 7 life cycle in 2020, Microsoft announced Monday. The announcement coincided with the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Beta release, which was already expected for a July release.

The downgrade option to Windows XP was originally supposed to last only 6 months beyond the release of Windows 7, but was extended to 18 months or the release of Windows 7 SP1, whichever would come first. However, Microsoft reportedly decided to provide this second, unusually lengthy extension out of consideration to business customers.

A blog post from Microsoft, regarding the extension, explains, “While the majority of customers are actively transitioning to Windows 7, and PC manufacturers are focused on delivering PCs and devices with Windows 7 preinstalled, our business customers have told us that removing end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional could be confusing, given the rights change would be made for new PCs preinstalled with 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.”

Some are speculating, however, that the move by Microsoft has more to do with the popularity of XP among businesses rather than license-tracking purposes. 74% of businesses are still running XP, according to a Microsoft executive at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington, DC.

Others think that the downgrade extension is due to power-hungry Windows 7 dragging down systems, which tempts consumers to revert back to XP for better performance. “We have a high uptake rate on retrograde XP conversions (mainly from Vista) and are already working through a backlog of requests for 7 customers wanting the same”, posted one Pocket-Lint commenter. “Most of these requests have come from consumers who rushed to buy the ‘upgrade’ to 7, only to find their systems (1Gb and 2Gb) crawling post installation.”

Whatever the reason, I applaud Microsoft for the unprecedented move. A greater range of choice is rarely a bad thing for consumers.

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There are 25 comments

Mary Cahill
MyCE Rookie
Posted on: 15 Jul 10 18:20
    Why doesn't Microsoft admit that XP is as customer friendly as it gets? Yes, they should keep trying to improve on it, but they might wish to use the name of XP-2010 version, or XP - 1.0 etc.? - something the consuming public might trust? Then, Microsoft could stop trying to reinvent the wheel every time they come out with a newer version of their software?
    papasmurf69
    MyCE Junior Member
    Posted on: 15 Jul 10 20:50
      My first question to this is does that mean that they are going to extend support for XP until 2020 now instead of it stopping in 2014? Makes you wonder doesn't it.
      penrib13
      New Member
      Posted on: 15 Jul 10 23:55
        When can I get xp.I ve had win 7 for 6 weeks now and havinf combatable issues with my softWare that I want to install,plus I cant get on line because tiscalie does not want to know win7 help.
        penrib13
        New Member
        Posted on: 15 Jul 10 23:59
          quite right every time they come out with a new version iv'e I get combatable issues sucks.
          HondaMike
          New Member
          Posted on: 16 Jul 10 00:14
            haha....so glad I jumped shipped with Vista....VERY HAPPY UBUNTU user now
            papasmurf69
            MyCE Junior Member
            Posted on: 16 Jul 10 00:34
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by penrib13
              When can I get xp.I ve had win 7 for 6 weeks now and havinf combatable issues with my softWare that I want to install,plus I cant get on line because tiscalie does not want to know win7 help.
              You would have to get that from the manufacturer of the pre-built computer you purchased, and then only if you purchased Win 7 Ultimate or Professional. It doesn't apply to Home Premium or Starter. .
              Blu-rayFreak
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 16 Jul 10 05:27
                I think it's great that they're supporting the free downgrade to XP until 2020. The more consumer choice the better, right? Although I am also curious if they'll support XP with security updates til 2020...
                redk9258
                MyCE Junior Member
                Posted on: 16 Jul 10 05:34
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by penrib13
                  When can I get xp.I ve had win 7 for 6 weeks now and havinf combatable issues with my softWare that I want to install,plus I cant get on line because tiscalie does not want to know win7 help.
                  I've been running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with very few compatibility problems*. I've installed software that came out years ago and it runs fine. For stuff that does not run under Windows 7, there's compatibility mode. Hell, they even let you download a copy of XP to run for free. They could make you pay for a license to do that. Anyway I am very happy to switch from XP to 7 (I skipped Vista).

                  * The only software that I couldn't get to work was Roxio EMC 8.
                  papasmurf69
                  MyCE Junior Member
                  Posted on: 16 Jul 10 05:49
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by redk9258
                    I've been running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with very few compatibility problems*. I've installed software that came out years ago and it runs fine. For stuff that does not run under Windows 7, there's compatibility mode. Hell, they even let you download a copy of XP to run for free. They could make you pay for a license to do that. Anyway I am very happy to switch from XP to 7 (I skipped Vista).

                    * The only software that I couldn't get to work was Roxio EMC 8.
                    You are missing some very important things though. Not everyone uses the same applications as you do. There are LOTS of applications that will not run under Windows 7 (even in compatibility mode), nor will they run in XP Mode in Win 7. And not everyone uses the same hardware as you do. So your saying that because Win 7 works for you means that it will work for everyone means absolutely nothing. I have customers that are stuck using XP SP1 due to software conflicts with later versions, and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it until the software vendor gets around to updating it. They can't switch to another software application as there aren't any available. That's one of the reasons why MS is extending XP downgrade rights so those business can stay in business. So don't go saying something that you can't back up, and saying Win 7 will work for everyone is just that, something you can not backup.
                    woppr
                    MyCE Member
                    Posted on: 16 Jul 10 18:34
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by wconeybeer
                      Believers get St.
                      wconeybeer
                      MyCE Senior Member
                      Posted on: 16 Jul 10 19:05
                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by papasmurf69
                        My first question to this is does that mean that they are going to extend support for XP until 2020 now instead of it stopping in 2014? Makes you wonder doesn't it.
                        Can you imagine the number of inane corporate meetings that must've gone into making this decision? Some exec probably decided they didn't want to deal with it again for almost a decade
                        Some Random Guy
                        MyCE Resident
                        Posted on: 16 Jul 10 21:35
                          This sounds like Microsoft admitting that their "XP Compatibility Mode" for 7 Pro and Ultimate doesn't really work.
                          DrageMester
                          Retired Moderator
                          Posted on: 16 Jul 10 21:50
                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by Some Random Guy
                            This sounds like Microsoft admitting that their "XP Compatibility Mode" for 7 Pro and Ultimate doesn't really work.
                            Why do you conclude that? Have you even tried using the Windows XP Mode? (Works great for me)

                            Running Windows XP natively and running Windows 7 Pro/Enterprise/Ultimate with Windows XP Mode are both perfectly reasonable options depending on your needs.

                            The downgrade option seems to be only for volume versions of Windows, since a user with a retail or OEM version of Windows would have to jump though a lot of hoops to do it, including convincing a Microsoft representative over the phone, that you are NOT a pirate even though you are trying to activate Windows XP with a serial number already used on another computer. The process seems designed to discourage private and small-business users from exersising their downgrade rights.
                            papasmurf69
                            MyCE Junior Member
                            Posted on: 17 Jul 10 00:27
                              Yes, I have tried XP mode. While it works okay for SOME applications if you have a fast system and have Hardware VT, there are a LOT of business, scientific, and medical apps that simply will NOT run under it period. These apps will probably never be upgraded to run under a new OS or to run in XP mode forcing users that need the apps (and there are no alternatives) to continue to run NATIVE XP.
                              woppr
                              MyCE Member
                              Posted on: 17 Jul 10 21:57
                                Quote:
                                Originally Posted by Some Random Guy
                                This sounds like Microsoft admitting that their "XP Compatibility Mode" for 7 Pro and Ultimate doesn't really work.
                                It can't naturally without violating X86 Protected Mode. And that would bring in many other risks.
                                Stupid virtual machines.
                                justcallmebob
                                MyCE Resident
                                Posted on: 19 Jul 10 19:47
                                  Sorta makes you wonder why Windows 7 didn't come out as the next Windows XP service pack . . .
                                  papasmurf69
                                  MyCE Junior Member
                                  Posted on: 19 Jul 10 19:53
                                    Because Windows 7 is Vista SP3.
                                    justcallmebob
                                    MyCE Resident
                                    Posted on: 19 Jul 10 19:58
                                      True.
                                      Brookstone
                                      New Member
                                      Posted on: 23 Jul 10 09:18
                                        Quote:
                                        Originally Posted by papasmurf69
                                        Because Windows 7 is Vista SP3.
                                        If Gates and his Microsoft heared such feedback about Windows 7 from their customers, they would be crazy.

                                        However, that means Microsoft is still not confident about its Windows 7, just like Vista. Before Windows 7 become strong enough, making XP live for a longer time is a better thing.
                                        Mary Cahill
                                        MyCE Rookie
                                        Posted on: 23 Jul 10 15:17
                                          Quote:
                                          Originally Posted by justcallmebob
                                          Sorta makes you wonder why Windows 7 didn't come out as the next Windows XP service pack . . .
                                          Good thinking - I hope Microsoft is listening!
                                          Dartman
                                          MyCE Resident
                                          Posted on: 23 Jul 10 22:00
                                            I really like 7, I upgraded from XP and kept the old drive intact just in case anything breaks or I need to boot XP to run something.
                                            It reminds me of XP when I first got it but has some new features and even seems to run well on low spec machines. I tried to install the XP mode but something in my registry was hosed so it never took and I haven't retried it since I got it fixed. Funny thing is 7 still ran everything just fine, just wouldn't accept a few new updates and the XP mode stuff. Most other OS's woulda been crippled and things wouldn't work right.
                                            So far only reason I've needed XP was to check the ink level in my old HP 990 printer becuase the 7 drivers don't report ink levels or most of the cartridge cleaning tools and things XP had. It does print and work fine though in 7 and supports all the features, just none of the extra cool tools.
                                            I totally skipped Vista and tried 7 when I saw the RC beta on a friends machine after he said it finally works great.
                                            papasmurf69
                                            MyCE Junior Member
                                            Posted on: 24 Jul 10 03:18
                                              The word I got yesterday is that this is only Downgrade rights. XP is still only supported through 2014 like they planned all along. That means no more XP security patches after sometime in July of 2014, four years from now.
                                              Oz.
                                              MyCE Senior Member
                                              Posted on: 02 Aug 10 02:05
                                                Quote:
                                                Originally Posted by redk9258
                                                * The only software that I couldn't get to work was Roxio EMC 8.
                                                Roxio has never worked on anything, so not really a fair assessment.
                                                Grim107
                                                MyCE Member
                                                Posted on: 03 Aug 10 06:42
                                                  Let's not forget the best Windows OS. Windows ME...
                                                  papasmurf69
                                                  MyCE Junior Member
                                                  Posted on: 03 Aug 10 06:55
                                                    Quote:
                                                    Originally Posted by Grim107
                                                    Let's not forget the best Windows OS. Windows ME...
                                                    I hope you are being sarcastic. Otherwise, 50 lashes for making me puke.

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