Windows 8 Pro includes some downgrade rights

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the The End User License Agreement for Windows 8 allowed people who are building their own PCs to buy a Personal Use License for the System Builder version, which will legally give consumers a way to buy the same Windows 8 SKU that OEMs use.

Now there's confirmation that people who buy a new PC with Windows 8 Pro installed can downgrade the OS to an earlier version of Windows if they want. ZDNet.com reports that, according to the EULA, Windows 8 Pro users can decide to downgrade to either Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business.

The EULA states:

This agreement applies to your use of the earlier versions. If the earlier version includes different components, any terms for those components in the agreement that come with the earlier version apply to your use of such components. Neither the manufacturer or installer, nor Microsoft, is obligated to supply earlier versions to you. You must obtain the earlier version separately. At any time, you may replace an earlier version with Windows 8 Pro.

There are two exceptions. One is that this downgrade option is not available for people who purchase the Personal Use License for System Builder and the other exception is that it can't be used if you buy the $39.99 upgrade version of Windows 8.

Source: ZDNet.com
Downgrade image via Shutterstock

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38 Comments

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this is nothing new and something Microsoft have offered on all "pro" versions for years. W7 pro allows you to downgrade to Xp Pro etc.

I was playing with Win8 Pro for a while last night in a VM (thanks, DreamSpark Premium!) and while I entirely understand why people are confused and upset about the changes, I think it's going to get much better. What I'm seeing is a "chicken and egg" problem - there is almost no software out there to take advantage of Win8's new way of operating a computer. The Live Tiles on the Start screen I think have a lot of potential, but currently there aren't a lot of cool things to do with them. Thus, using Win8 is clumsy and frustrating.

This is going to take time. It's going to be a painful year or so of growth and change, but ultimately we'll all find our way.

Neither the manufacturer or installer, nor Microsoft, is obligated to supply earlier versions to you. You must obtain the earlier version separately.

... to the pirate bay!

thexfile said,
If you want Win7 why not just buy Win7?

Because they might want to upgrade I the future, but can't now due to training and application compatibility. Pro an Enterprise are obviously geared towards businesses where this stuff is important.

Good job MS keep your customers happy..
Like in many businesses the customer is always right.
and if they decide Windows 8 sucks and would rather use Windows 7
Then aside from some cry baby fan boys getting upset YOU (MS) will
still have a customer. No losses for MS then.

It sounds like Microsoft is not sure ****-sure that Windows-8 is going to be such a roaring success, so they are providing an "exit" for users. Much simpler--buy your laptop or desktop with Windows-7 and your tablet/smartphone with Windows-8.

TsarNikky said,
It sounds like Microsoft is not sure ****-sure that Windows-8 is going to be such a roaring success, so they are providing an "exit" for users. Much simpler--buy your laptop or desktop with Windows-7 and your tablet/smartphone with Windows-8.

They have to see the feedback by now for Windows "Hate" 8
Many people are gonna want a downgrade once the novelty of
installing Metro cr'Apps warez off..

Hello,

Microsoft offered downgrade rights to Windows XP when Windows Vista came out, and I believe they did something similar when Windows 7 came out. It is a standard activity done through the OEM channel to support enterprise users who purchase new PCs constantly, but need to run an older version of the operating system for compatibility with legacy line of business (LOB) apps.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

TsarNikky said,
It sounds like Microsoft is not sure ****-sure that Windows-8 is going to be such a roaring success, so they are providing an "exit" for users. Much simpler--buy your laptop or desktop with Windows-7 and your tablet/smartphone with Windows-8.

Why don't they offer downgrade rights to Windows 3.11 for Workgroups? It can get on the Internet, run Reversi, Notepad and Paint and works just fine!

Hell, they should offer downgrade rights to Windows 1.01, too!

Nidoking said,
Why don't they offer downgrade rights to Windows 3.11 for Workgroups? It can get on the Internet, run Reversi, Notepad and Paint and works just fine!

Hell, they should offer downgrade rights to Windows 1.01, too!

I wish someone would make a 16 bit browser...... Last time I tried getting internet explorer 5 working on windows 3.1 javascript didnt work

Why doesnt microsoft make people pay for new super duper windows xp service pack that way mcirosoft is still making money and people who like XP are still be supported

togermano said,
Why doesnt microsoft make people pay for new super duper windows xp service pack that way mcirosoft is still making money and people who like XP are still be supported

How do you know XP users want their OS to be like win 7 / 8 ?
I have a suspicion that most XP users could do with out Metro crap etc

Hello,

One reason might be because Windows XP is old, insecure code and they no longer allocate resources to build service packs (which receive far more extensive testing than hotfixes) for it.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

togermano said,
Why doesnt microsoft make people pay for new super duper windows xp service pack that way mcirosoft is still making money and people who like XP are still be supported

goretsky said,
Hello,

One reason might be because Windows XP is old, insecure code and they no longer allocate resources to build service packs (which receive far more extensive testing than hotfixes) for it.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

yup

I am Not PCyr said,

How do you know XP users want their OS to be like win 7 / 8 ?
I have a suspicion that most XP users could do with out Metro crap etc

keep the looks the same but add the API windows 7/8 has that XP doesnt

Lirodon said,
That is if you can even get Windows 7 back on there.

(!!! OBLIGATORY SECURE BOOT JOKE !!!)

Hilarious. Owww, my sides.

Hello,

Windows 7 does not implement Secure Boot, although UEFI is supported to some degree, as far as I know.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

goretsky said,
Hello,

Windows 7 does not implement Secure Boot, although UEFI is supported to some degree, as far as I know.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

his entire point is based on the fact that windows 8 DOES implement secure boot.

goretsky said,
Hello,

Windows 7 does not implement Secure Boot, although UEFI is supported to some degree, as far as I know.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

To whom it may concern,
Windows 8 does implement Secure Boot.
Yours truly,
Simon Tang

Well the two exceptions sort of make sense. If you buy a specific license for Windows 8 it makes sense you want Windows 8. If you buy an upgrade it also makes sense you already have 7 or Vista.

I like it though. Means I don't have to buy 7 if I buy a new laptop later this year.

after 6 months of going on sale i expect there to be a downgrade to win7 option on dell's website when you are building your computer as there will be so many returns of windows 8.

torrentthief said,
after 6 months of going on sale i expect there to be a downgrade to win7 option on dell's website when you are building your computer as there will be so many returns of windows 8.

From what I've been told, you will be able to buy a Win7 PC from a vendor until the Fall of next year, and volume license holders will be able to get Win7 PCs until 2014(?). Doesn't do much for a lot of people, especially AFTER they bought their PC, but their will be plenty of ways for people to get Win7 PCs for a while to come.

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,
Cue the "Where's Windows XP downrights?! wah wah" in 3, 2, 1 ...

I don't see anything to suggest that it doesn't also include downgrade rights for XP yet. Let's see if this is included. XP Downgrade rights are not really necessary anyway with XP mode.

Simon- said,

I don't see anything to suggest that it doesn't also include downgrade rights for XP yet. Let's see if this is included. XP Downgrade rights are not really necessary anyway with XP mode.

Highly doubt they would give rights to downgrade to XP. Especially considering it's near end it's end-of-life... Plus Microsoft has been pushing XP users to upgrade for over a year now...

They barely even wanted early Vista users to downgrade to XP.

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,
Cue the "Where's Windows XP downrights?! wah wah" in 3, 2, 1 ...

if you insist..
Where's Windows XP downrights?!

I havn't seen anyone comment about XP around here in a long long time.
Not sure what your goin on about..
Craving some controversy ? Is that why YOU brought that up ? lol

Jason Stillion said,
Will the windows 8 key work for windows 7 or would you have to contact Microsoft to do this.

Probably contact the OEM that sold you the PC.