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HP Warns Customers Over Downgrading Win 8 PCs to Win 7 [UPDATED]

By - Source: Computerworld | B 98 comments

Customers purchasing a new Windows 8 desktop or laptop from HP are warned not to downgrade to Windows 7. Updated 11/9/2012 with additional info from HP.

Several sources are pointing to a Windows 8 FAQ on HP's website that is warning customers not to downgrade the operating system on their consumer-based Windows 8 desktop or laptop.

According to the FAQ, the company fully supports downgrades for commercial-based machines. Many businesses purchasing a new laptop or desktop with Windows 8 may not have the resources to upgrade other machines on the network. There also many not be enough time and money to re-train employees on how to use the new Modern UI interface.

But on the consumer front, HP is suggesting that customers refrain from downgrading Windows 8 to an older OS. Even more, the company said that after October 26, 2012, HP consumer desktop and notebook products will ship only with Windows 8 – getting a new Windows 7 machine is no longer an option.

"Windows 7 will not be supported on these new platforms, and no drivers, apps, or Windows 7 content will be available through HP," the company states. "If users choose to downgrade their HP consumer desktop or notebook system, HP will continue to support the hardware but if there is an issue where HP diagnostics are required OR it is determined that the loaded software or upgrade operating system is causing the issue, HP may suggest returning the system to the original Windows 8 OS that shipped with the computer."

For HP customers, that means they're on their own if they run into trouble using Windows 7 on a system built and fine-tuned for Windows 8. However downgrading to the older platform may ultimately not be an issue, as consumers may find that the new OS isn't quite as overhauled and overwhelming as many critics have led them to believe.

For those who haven't upgraded to Windows 8, just imagine a slightly redesigned Windows 7 (SE) with an overlay – or as it's called in the Android realm, a launcher. Microsoft and its hardware partners have mainly pushed this new Modern UI overlay when promoting Windows 8, as it takes precedence on mobile products and the Xbox consoles. But for desktops users, it's seemingly business as usual once they've clicked the Desktop tile and entered into familiar territory.

The big difference over Windows 7 is that the Start button is gone. That makes it somewhat difficult to locate desktop-based software without having to use the Search function on the Charms bar tucked away to the right. If anything, the multi-screen extended desktop experience has been improved, and users can still create shortcuts on the desktop to important Windows features like My Computer, the Control Panel and more.

Still, there may be many consumers too stressed over having to re-learn Windows, wanting to return to the good ole' days of Windows 7. But as HP states in its FAQ, there may be serious consequences if their Windows 8-based HP machine moves down the OS ladder. Customers will just have to set their fears aside and get to know a really great new OS.

UPDATE: HP emailed and explained that it has updated the FAQ with the following information:

Question
Can I downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7?

Answer
Yes, customers can downgrade to Windows 7 and you will remain protected by HP product warranties. However, HP has not tested all Windows 8 platforms for Windows 7 and we may not have your particular drivers available. If you choose to install a different operating system (OS) and have a problem that requires HP support, you may need to restore the original OS to fully diagnose your problem. Please check with HP Customer Care for questions related to your specific product.

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Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    wanderer11 , November 9, 2012 12:06 PM
    One more reason to never buy anything from HP.
  • 30 Hide
    cats_Paw , November 9, 2012 12:08 PM
    wanderer11One more reason to never buy anything from HP.


    A small one compared to all the others, but yes :D .
  • 29 Hide
    kawininjazx , November 9, 2012 12:10 PM
    I believe Windows 7 and 8 drivers usually work the same.
Other Comments
  • 34 Hide
    wanderer11 , November 9, 2012 12:06 PM
    One more reason to never buy anything from HP.
  • 30 Hide
    cats_Paw , November 9, 2012 12:08 PM
    wanderer11One more reason to never buy anything from HP.


    A small one compared to all the others, but yes :D .
  • 29 Hide
    kawininjazx , November 9, 2012 12:10 PM
    I believe Windows 7 and 8 drivers usually work the same.
  • -8 Hide
    nforce4max , November 9, 2012 12:12 PM
    Staying with Vista and Win7....
  • 20 Hide
    rantoc , November 9, 2012 12:14 PM
    So what they are saying is that they don't want extra support calls and because of that the customers are encouraged to not use their PC as they want.

    Gotta love the company's those days!
  • 5 Hide
    jacobdrj , November 9, 2012 12:16 PM
    rantocSo what they are saying is that they don't want extra support calls and because of that the customers are encouraged to not use their PC as they want.Gotta love the company's those days!

    As they want? Why not just buy from another company? I have no doubt Apple would think twice before supporting a downgrade of their OS on a new MacBook...
  • 14 Hide
    cirdecus , November 9, 2012 12:23 PM
    Cats_PawA small one compared to all the others, but yes .

    wanderer11One more reason to never buy anything from HP.



    Exactly this. They've been the worst tech company when it comes to drives. Their printer drives are horrendous. Half the drivers on their website for supported products say "use windows update" lol.

    This is a pretty bold move for them to go this low.

  • 21 Hide
    Marco925 , November 9, 2012 12:24 PM
    HP = Help Please
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , November 9, 2012 12:25 PM
    Im like raging because my new HP pc wont run mw3 because of bios
  • 10 Hide
    rebel1280 , November 9, 2012 12:26 PM
    More choice taken away, nice. Just more incentive to continue to build my own and outsource my company PC's to local shops :)  Thanks HP for helping the little guy get more business!
  • 6 Hide
    noblerabbit , November 9, 2012 12:31 PM
    epic LOL at headline. Dear Microsoft, send more how-to emails to these defunct customers of yours.
  • 6 Hide
    arnoldlouie , November 9, 2012 12:34 PM
    This was the same with vista..most people downgraded to xp..now from win 8 to win 7. I don't know wth microsoft is doing. They knew from the start that the people doesn't like win8..they should have pushed back this os and people will just wait for a better os.. rather than this.. and for hp..i don't know how they made a system fine tuned for win 8 only...
  • 9 Hide
    torque79 , November 9, 2012 12:35 PM
    ummm... windows 8 just came out. HP is ALREADY stopping support?? seriously???
  • 3 Hide
    lp231 , November 9, 2012 12:37 PM
    I don't see what's the big deal, it's always been like this, ever since Vista. If you buy a business machine running Vista, you have the option to downgrade back to XP. It's the same thing now, get a business machine running Win 8 and have the option to downgrade back to Win 7. IMHO, HP don't want consumers PC to have the option to downgrade (due to drivers), is because of support.
    It's like a person building a PC for their friend with Win7 installed. His friend decided to install XP himself and then starts calling, asking hey why this don't work or that don't work. For the guy who build it, will he have the time to find out what the heck is going on and why it doesn't work? The initial OS was Win7 and everything works before he installed XP.

    If a person was to buy a consumer based PC with Win8 and HP don't have drivers for that, they can still find it, not from HP itself, but from the website for the individual components.
  • 8 Hide
    john_4 , November 9, 2012 12:40 PM
    Best thing to do if you want real security and to stick it to the man so to say, go Linux.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , November 9, 2012 12:41 PM
    I don't get the manufacturer "F-you" attitude. Or this line "Customers will just have to set their fears aside and get to know a really great new OS." Think of history, Skippy. Does that mean averyone had to drop Win XP and gleefully adopt a half-baked Vista? Or Win 98 in favor of Win ME? An OS is an OS, it should do what the USER wants, NOT what a roomfull of hipster kiddie coders at MS demand. The fact that HP would do this (at MS's behest of course) shows how desperate they are -- if we can't get them with "features" and "tiles" then we'll scare the crap out of them. I will never use an OS from MS before SP1. The OS is there to let ME decide how to work, not to FORCE me to adhere to it.
  • -1 Hide
    john_4 , November 9, 2012 12:41 PM
    Tom's sure has allot of MS tools/trolls on it.
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , November 9, 2012 12:45 PM
    Absolutely will not be buying a Win 8 machine from HP or any other vendor! I don't take kindly to being strong armed into anything let alone something that should have been released as a separate product for devices.
  • 3 Hide
    captainblacko , November 9, 2012 12:47 PM
    HP should warn people about upgrading to windows 8. Ive had a nightmare trying to upgrade my HP DV8.
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