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Downgrade Rights For Windows 7 And Windows Vista

Microsoft has decided to enhance the End User downgrade facilitation options available to OEMs for downgrading systems with Windows Vista Business or Ultimate editions to Windows XP Professional. In addition, Microsoft will allow limited End User downgrade rights from Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate editions to either Windows Vista Business or Window XP Professional.

Yes, it's a little confusing, so we are here today to lay it all out for you. As usual, our intrepid source at Microsoft has given us the full details of the Windows 7 Downgrade Rights. Let's take a look at what these new Downgrade Rights entail. As usual, we will update this article as and when we receive new information, so be sure to check back often!

You can also take a look at our other scoops on Microsoft :


Windows Vista Downgrade Rights

Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate remain the only Windows Vista editions that have End User downgrade rights. However, Microsoft is enhancing the End User downgrade facilitation options for downgrading Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate systems to Windows XP Professional.

OEMs may now choose to install Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Professional Tablet PC or Windows XP Professional X64 editions instead of Windows Vista Business / Ultimate, provided they meet the following additional requirements :

  • Each system must be distributed with a Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and must have the appropriate activation markers for both OA (OEM Activation) 2.X and OA 1.0.
  • OEMs are required to distribute physical recovery media in the system packaging for the Windows Vista Business or Ultimate version that corresponds to the COA. If the system does not include an optical drive, then the OEM is required to provide a hard drive-based recovery solution for that version of Windows Vista software.
In addition to the required Windows Vista recovery media, OEMs may also choose to provide a recovery solution for the preinstalled version of Windows XP. This may be hard drive-based or on physical recovery media provided in the system packaging or to an End User of such systems upon request.

Each system must meet the Windows Vista Logo criteria requirements outlined on the Windows Quality Online Services web site and pass all tests for PCs posted on the Windows Logo Program site, However, the system must not be distributed with the Windows Vista logo.

In addition, OEMs are required to post this End User Notice to ensure that the end users knows that they may only use one version at a time and that switching between versions requires uninstalling the other version :

“Windows® XP Professional is preinstalled on this system and includes end user rights and media for Windows Vista® (Version).  You may only use one version at a time.  Switching between versions will require uninstalling the version on this system.”

Microsoft OEMs will be allowed to provide such Windows Vista downgrades until six months after Windows 7 General Availability (GA).


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Windows Vista Downgrade Rights


Windows 7 Downgrade Rights
Availability Of Downgrade Rights
Support For Windows XP


Summary Of Downgrade Options

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