Microsoft scraps Windows 7 downgrade deadline
Microsoft has backtracked on its schedule for users moving from Windows Vista and Windows XP Professional, giving them more time to move to Windows 7.
Microsoft had said that after the release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 early next year, customers buying Windows 7 machines or licences would no longer be able to downgrade to earlier versions of the operating system, as is popular in many companies running legacy versions of Windows.
“To support our customers’ unprecedented move to migrate their PC environment to Windows 7, we have decided to extend downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional beyond the previously planned end date at Windows 7 SP1,” Microsoft Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog post.
This will help maintain consistency for downgrade rights throughout the Windows 7 life cycle
“This will help maintain consistency for downgrade rights throughout the Windows 7 life cycle. As a result, the OEM versions of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will continue to include downgrade rights to the similar versions of Windows Vista or Windows XP Professional.”
In a surprise move, the company has put no time limit on the extension, leaving administrators apparently free to choose when they upgrade to Windows 7.
“Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilise end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7,” said LeBlanc. “Enabling such rights throughout the Windows 7 life cycle will make it easier for customers as they plan deployments to Windows 7.”
From a business perspective, the move means that companies – many of which still have recession-hit budgets – can delay a costly corporate upgrade, while Microsoft continues to notch up sales of its flagship Windows 7.
For anyone already on Windows 7, Microsoft has officially launched a public beta of Windows 7 SP1 and customers can download the software from today.