Microsoft will allow Windows 7 downgrade to XP

After many requests and company IT departments pushing
Microsoft to make Windows 7 available to downgrade
not only to Windows Vista, but to Windows XP, Microsoft has finally officially stated that the downgrade will be available if company's or users require a downgrade.

The downgrade will not only allow consumers to downgrade to Microsoft most recent predecessor, Vista, but will allow users to downgrade to Windows XP, and technically allow users to go back to Windows 2000 or even Windows 95.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the rumored April 30, 2010 cut-off date may not be the official cut-off date for the downgrade, while an announcement is yet to be officially made, company's can rest easy that the downgrade will allow for rollbacks on their systems.

The safety guard is primarily in place for volume-license users, the majority of which are owned by large businesses, where upgrade to the newest version of Windows can be a nightmare for compatibility and IT departments.

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So to all those who think an upgrade is easy, lets go thru the numbers. Do you want to be able to buy groceries as more than 90% of all registers you see at major super markets use windows of those a great deal of the save U / buy cheap grocery stores are still using windows 2000 or older. Do you want to go shopping for clothing or other merchandise, because the store that your at unless it is using its own custom made mainframe program (which are a total of a hand few places) has point of sale systems running windows either 2000 or xp. Do you want to get a drink at a bar or order food at a restaurant or fast food place....look out its windows XP, what do you think operates the majority of the point of sales systems used worldwide (Micros, squral, volante, retail pro, Radiant, qwest....I could keep going but i would hope you get the idea). All of these places 100,000's of them have your sales that then have to communicate with ordering software with credit card software with security software with data and banking software and so on. One single store with 4 registers that I'm currently working with in my line of work needs to have 11 different software makers get there different software all updated and talking to each other properly and securely (since no one wants their software to be the reason for another million person security breach) before we even start talking about an upgrade. AND YOU WANT TO DO THIS WITH THE WORLD WIDE ECONOMY IS THE #$@$%@ CONDITION - wake up and smell the real world..... The planet does not revolve around your home rig that you spend weeks building and tweaking for your own pleasure.

where upgrade to the newest version of Windows can be a nightmare for compatibility and IT departments

Only for those that are incompetent and unable to plan a migration from an obsolete operating system to a newer one. Seriously, it is not that difficult and there are more than enough resources to make the transition an easy one.

Time to take the XP crutch away.

Only for those that are incompetent and unable to plan a migration from an obsolete operating system to a newer one.

Sigh. So tell me how large your IT department (and enterprise is) - you seem to have a pretty good insight into the requirements of a large scale, major project such as this and must have been through similar deployments in the past?

Since running Vista since May 2007 I've found it so much more efficient and reliable than XP, yes it's certainly not as nippy (but it's by no means slow) but compared to XP it's so much more reliable.

I certainly it less likely to get software rot.

Why are people saying that Windows 7 is another Vista.. It isn't.

I've been running the Beta for quite awhile now. It runs smoother and doesn't crash as much as Vista did. Here's the list of systems that I've been testing it on:

Dell Latitude C610 [Pentium III-M @ 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM, ATI Radeon Mobility 16MB, 40GB HDD]
Dell Inspiron 5100 [Pentium 4 @ 2.66GHz, 1GB RAM, ATI Radeon 7500 64MB, 40GB HDD]
IBM Thinkpad R40 [Pentium-M @ 1.6GHz, 2GB RAM, ATI Radeon 7500 32MB, 80GB HDD]

Sure.. They don't get the nice Aero effects, but they run rather good, even the P3. I haven't tested it on a sub-1GHz setup, but I will soon.

I'm tired of people branding Windows 7 as Vista without even testing it. Windows XP is going away eventually since SP3 is the last service pack. Microsoft does need to keep compatibility with XPDM drivers at least until the next OS.

Of course, if people still want to run the latest OS with all the bells and whistles on their old hardware, they should consider Linux.

Simba7 said,
Of course, if people still want to run the latest OS with all the bells and whistles on their old hardware, they should consider Linux

Exactly.

The amount of people who ran very old hardware and complained Vista didn't cope too well. Same goes for Office, complaining Outlook "2000" isn't really Vista compatible, please.

So if I get a brand new computer with a Windows 7 license I can downgrade that license to Windows XP? Wow, I would never want to do that...

pensadr said,
So if I get a brand new computer with a Windows 7 license I can downgrade that license to Windows XP? Wow, I would never want to do that...

Very good ha ha. Seriously I agree.

I get a O/S released in 2010 and actually wish to downgrade to an O/S from a decade ago. All the talk that XP wil be 8 years old is rubbish, it will be 10 years since Windows 2000.

I guess this one is a really bad decisions. XP cannot take much advantage of the new technology, speeds and graphics technology. I bought a new PC had XP first but that is featureless as compared to Vista. I find Vista running more smoothly than XP on new hardware. Windows 7 is going to be the best os from Microsoft as they have learned a lot from Vista.

I would compare XP, Vista and Windows 7 as follows:
Windows XP = Old should not be used now although it has a lot of dependency the upgrade process must start ASAP.
Windows Vista = Windows 7 Alpha,Beta whatever public release.
Windows 7 = The real taste of new OS from Microsoft.

After all the hype behind Windows 7 they're shooting themselves in the foot by keeping XP alive yet again? This is going to fuel the XP trolls who refuse to upgrade because of how "bad" Vista is. I bet it gets spun like "See, even Microsoft thinks 7 sucks because they still offer XP" lol. I hope they at least end regular consumer support for XP like they planned and keep it just for cheap businesses who can't keep up with the times.

keep it just for cheap businesses who can't keep up with the times.

Do you have any idea how real businesses work? It has jack all to do with not keeping up with the times, and having to concentrate on day to day operations rather than un-necessary work such as moving an entire corporation over to a completely new operating system.

Get a sense of perspective for gods sake.

Chicane-UK said,
Do you have any idea how real businesses work? It has jack all to do with not keeping up with the times, and having to concentrate on day to day operations rather than un-necessary work such as moving an entire corporation over to a completely new operating system.

Get a sense of perspective for gods sake.


Plus, of course, this isn't a good time for businesses to be spending extra cash. I'd rather they spent it on employing people than upgrades.

Chicane-UK said,
Do you have any idea how real businesses work? It has jack all to do with not keeping up with the times, and having to concentrate on day to day operations rather than un-necessary work such as moving an entire corporation over to a completely new operating system.

Get a sense of perspective for gods sake.

That's just laziness. I'd agree if this was Vista being released and there was nothing else besides XP that was tried and true and everything would crumble if a reliable OS was not used but unfortunately that isn't the case anymore. It isn't even about upgrading for the sake of it, it's for security purposes, which I'm sure most businesses can appreciate.

A good IT department with the right network setup and group policies can secure an XP installation fine. Its not laziness. Companies have to weigh the cost of deployment, training, other upgrades that may be necessary, and other factors to see if it would even be feasible to deploy on a wide scale. Most companies are cutting budgets now, not expanding.

That's just laziness.

Seriously. Are you just trolling to wind me up? I'm willing to bet you don't have any insight in this area. If you had any idea how enterprise wide I.T. worked you know that laziness has NOTHING to do with it.

A small business with like 10 employees maybe.. a large enterprise with 500+ employees with a variety of applications, branch offices, etc - it's a major overhaul.

Great idea they should of done this straight away with vista although Windows 7 is that good it isnt really worth downgrading to XP, on a modern system both perform really well.

I'm currently dual booting 7 and XP, both are fantastic OS'

Uhh, you could've always have downgraded from Vista to XP, that's been Microsoft policy for years now...

For businesses, fine. But for consumers it will probably take so long to get the procedure done, and you will have a hard time finding all drivers for newer hardware. I really think not many consumers will want to downgrade.

I think some folks on Neowin need to look beyond the perspective of their nice home computers running reasonably current hardware, and only having their own workstations to worry about. Businesses are in no rush to move away from XP still because there is no significant improvement to the core functionality of the product that gives them any desire to do so.

If you have a well stripped down installation of Windows XP, joined to a domain, with the local filesystem locked off and you have an up-to-date enough version of office, and you have all of your security policies and so forth setup, and you have a quick / easy re-imaging process for workstations that fail, why would you have any desire to go through the pain of migrating 100 or even 1000+ workstations over to a new OS with new hardware requirements, etc? New training, new documentation, new hardware, verifying application compatability.. especially at a time when businesses are feeling the pinch and the economy is on its backside and companies are starting to shed staff, there is absolutely no WAY companies are going to be taking gambles.

I totaly agree with Chicane-UK i work in the kind of place where we have computer die every day and a very small budget, we have neither the man power or budget to upgrade all out hardware for windows vista/7 not to meantion most of our servers!!!

We do have 2 vista pc's (me and the other IT Tech!) and its not very good on our network!

All the pc's we have purchased in the last year or so (mostly Dell and HP) came with vista and im sure one day we will put it back on, but for now its XP SP3 all the way!! (oh joy!)

I don't run a business, per se, but I have absolutely no need to upgrade to Vista (Yuck!), Windows 7, or whatever comes out next, for a long, long time yet.

And just before any person accuses me of hating on Microsoft or something (another Neowin pet peeve!) I'm posting this from a Vista remote desktop session, from a Windows 7 beta based laptop - which I love!

Just being a realist here.

Chicane-UK said,
a new OS with new hardware requirements

They still have Pentium II there?? Because Windows 7 runs fine on Pentium III 800 Mhz.

Fantastic idea!

Although i'm not sure why. But that's sure to win a lot of the businesses over!

ironsight2000 said,
any one with an old ati card cant use windows 7 as ati is not supporting it.

eh? sure they can, but i mean, come on, pre 2xx0 series is OLD.
There will be no FURTHER support. They can still use Vista drivers.

and this is ati's fault, not Microsoft's.

morphen said,
eh? sure they can, but i mean, come on, pre 2xx0 series is OLD.
There will be no FURTHER support. They can still use Vista drivers.

and this is ati's fault, not Microsoft's.


i know its ati fault its about time ati move on and stop support of the old card

ironsight2000 said,
any one with an old ati card cant use windows 7 as ati is not supporting it.

It's just driver development for DX11 and WDDM 1.1 (Directx 10.x (HD series) hardware current generations +). Old cards are fine with WDDM 1.0 vista drivers...If they don't work then you must have a dinosaur of a gpu and should go buy a cheap upgrade as vista will not support it either, how hard is this to understand ?

Digix said,
It's just driver development for DX11 and WDDM 1.1 (Directx 10.x (HD series) hardware current generations +). Old cards are fine with WDDM 1.0 vista drivers...If they don't work then you must have a dinosaur of a gpu and should go buy a cheap upgrade as vista will not support it either, how hard is this to understand ?

its not hard to understand but you know ppl will be crying that stuff does not work and its should and its all MS fault. "get a new computer or dont get windows 7"

leesmithg said,
My advice to MS was to release xp second edition, they ignored me, well how about doing what I said MS?

They tried with longhorn it failed very badly. l2homework.

leesmithg said,
My advice to MS was to release xp second edition, they ignored me, well how about doing what I said MS?

Windows XP Second Edition? That's essentially what XP SP2 was.

tonyunreal said,
Microsoft did that once for Windows 98, it became Windows Me.

Um... no... They did it TWICE.
Win98
Win98SE
WinMe. (Mistake Edition)

Maybe it's more for all the companies that have a very solid and reliable XP setup that don't want to be forced into Vista while they work on getting their software and hardware compatible with Windows 7? If this is actually going to happen from MS I for one thank them as it will make my life easier between now and the release of 7.

this is when Microsoft needs to tell them no and just force the issue. I can understand wanting to continue support of Vista but XP needs to be put to pasture.

macrosslover said,
this is when Microsoft needs to tell them no and just force the issue. I can understand wanting to continue support of Vista but XP needs to be put to pasture.

Agreed. XP is nearly 8 years old. When Windows 7 comes out, there will be no need for XP.

MightyJordan said,
Agreed. XP is nearly 8 years old. When Windows 7 comes out, there will be no need for XP.

You probably missed the part of

a nightmare for compatibility and IT departments

I can understand wanting to continue support of Vista but XP needs to be put to pasture.

Hmm... Why? Even IE 8 is released for XP, so I don't see the web standards argument and that holding anything back either.

This seem to be at any company's loss, sure, but there could be dozens of reasons to why they aren't ready to upgrade yet.

Odom said,
You probably missed the part of

There should only be minor compatibility issues. Vista's been out for almost 2.5 years. Most if not all software has been fixed to work with it. If companies have customized software, then they should have it redesigned to be compatible. This is almost as crazy as my company running a 16-bit program from 1997 (which they do). It randomly stops working, based on nothing. And then works again. It seems that now that PC's are so mainstream, the IT industry needs to dumb everything down for the stupid end users who can't figure out that the Orb is the start button...

Odom said,
You probably missed the part of

Companies will have had 3 years to iron out Vista/W7 compatibility issues. It's not MS's fault if companies have largely ignored Vista. It's always made sense that IT departments test all their Apps with Vista, even if they don't plan to deploy it.

To put this in perspective, the likely cut off is April, "only" 4 months after W7 is out. After that you'll have to have Vista or W7 whether you like it or not.

It's about time. XP should've been retired along time ago. There's really no reason the majority of users should be sticking with XP. A colleague bought a new 3Gb laptop the other day and put XP on it. What on earth does XP need 3Gb for? (outside of Gaming, Photo, SQL etc... work). It's madness, people "still" opt to downgrade.

The compatibility issues many companies are going to face should've been ironed out a long time ago. It's bad IT practise. My company is no better, choosing to pretend Vista doesn't exist and muddling along with XP.

It's because you can't buy a Windows XP license, you buy one for Vista and run XP. Normally they have allowed 1 version downgrade as I recall. To many run XP and have no plan to change in the near future but still buy new hardware, hence buy Windows 7 and run XP.

+1 here too...
Come on people, 7 is beyond faster than XP. I do however understand the condition of the economy and how much it will cost to upgrade proprietary business apps to be Vista/7 compatible. Maybe within a year it should all be solved because moving on for businesses WILL cost a lot. So I hope this is temporary for businesses, not as much home users.

Grandaevus said,
It's because you can't buy a Windows XP license, you buy one for Vista and run XP. Normally they have allowed 1 version downgrade as I recall. To many run XP and have no plan to change in the near future but still buy new hardware, hence buy Windows 7 and run XP.

This is ****ing ridiculous. XP is faster than Vista, yes. I'm not a Vista hater, I enjoy it, but I realize the benefits XP has over it. 7, however, fixes all of the problems Vista had. Essentially, now we have a "pretty" XP. These companies are screwing themselves. At some point in time when XP is not licensed anymore, they're going to have no choice to upgrade, and will have wished that they migrated sooner.

My company uses XP, but we've already planned on moving to 7 after a year of it's release.