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Microsoft Extends Windows XP Downgrade to 2020

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 90 comments

Another decade of Windows XP -- who's excited?!

While the consumer and enthusiast are now happily moving to Windows 7, businesses are still chugging along on Windows XP. This would present a problem for businesses buying and installing new computers in the workplace if not for the Windows XP downgrade program available to OEM Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate SKUs.

Originally, these downgrade rights were to disappear once Microsoft ships the first Service Pack in 2011, but upon the release of the SP1 beta, Microsoft announced that it would extend the XP downgrade period through to January 2020 for the Professional and January 2015 for the Ultimate edition (dates according to Computerworld).

"This will help maintain consistency for downgrade rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle," wrote Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc, in an entry on the company blog. "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.  Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7. Enabling such rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle will make it easier for customers as they plan deployments to Windows 7."

Microsoft made this change to help ease confusion for businesses getting new PCs but aren't able to make the switch just yet. With the extension of the downgrade rights, Microsoft will still be able to sell a Windows license and businesses can still run Windows XP.

LeBlanc added, "Our business customers have told us that the removing end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional could be confusing, given the rights change would be made for new PCs preinstalled with Windows 7 and managing a hybrid environment with PCs that have different end-user rights based on date of purchase would be challenging to track."

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    Pei-chen , July 14, 2010 2:24 PM
    If Skynet is going to run XP, we have nothing to worry about. It can't access more than 3.5GB of RAM.
  • 21 Hide
    silentq , July 14, 2010 2:06 PM
    smart move by MS
  • 20 Hide
    leo2kp , July 14, 2010 2:10 PM
    That'll teach them to make a solid OS. Geesh.
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    silentq , July 14, 2010 2:06 PM
    smart move by MS
  • 8 Hide
    velocityg4 , July 14, 2010 2:09 PM
    Will there even be PC's made in 2020 that have XP drivers? I'd also guess that the smallest RAM module manufactured for new computers would be 4GB to 8GB the average PC shipping with 64GB to 128GB RAM.
  • 20 Hide
    leo2kp , July 14, 2010 2:10 PM
    That'll teach them to make a solid OS. Geesh.
  • 10 Hide
    treefrog07 , July 14, 2010 2:13 PM
    ^+1
    Win7 has a future in business, but until the economy strengthens, businesses won't make the investment in all new peripherals to use it. XP wins again!
  • 12 Hide
    JonathanDeane , July 14, 2010 2:20 PM
    eugenesterNow if only Win7 64 drivers become more commonplace....


    Been pretty good on the 3 machines I installed it on (all different configurations) If I may ask what driver is missing? I would like to know so if I see it I can avoid it lol (It = trying to install 7 64 on that hardware)
  • 27 Hide
    Pei-chen , July 14, 2010 2:24 PM
    If Skynet is going to run XP, we have nothing to worry about. It can't access more than 3.5GB of RAM.
  • -8 Hide
    Tmanishere , July 14, 2010 2:27 PM
    Nothing that hasn't been discussed here before. Move along.
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , July 14, 2010 2:33 PM
    I don't think this is necessary, but a couple of more years might be reasonable. 7 is a good OS and businesses should move to it. Businesses buying new computers could take this opportunity to start migrating. Sure people want to keep running what they have already but their old computers will only last so long. They can't put off the inevitable move forever, a move from XP to 7 is relatively easy.

    I run XP at work but we have moved some of our newest machines to 7 without any real difficulty. Right now we have 4 people running 7 and 5 people running XP.
  • -5 Hide
    viometrix , July 14, 2010 2:36 PM
    xp is old hat, and needs to die. companies that depend on xp because their proprietary software runs on it are not companies i want to do business with. they had to have the software rewritten to work on xp 10 yrs ago, time to evolve and do it again.

    i have xp mode installed just so my son and i can pretend we got stuck in the past, too bad many people really are.
  • 1 Hide
    Mousemonkey , July 14, 2010 2:38 PM
    It's really going to help in pushing forward the development of DX10/11 gaming, looks like consoles are off the hook for while at least.
  • 9 Hide
    maydaynomore , July 14, 2010 2:39 PM
    cadderI don't think this is necessary, but a couple of more years might be reasonable. 7 is a good OS and businesses should move to it. Businesses buying new computers could take this opportunity to start migrating. Sure people want to keep running what they have already but their old computers will only last so long. They can't put off the inevitable move forever, a move from XP to 7 is relatively easy.I run XP at work but we have moved some of our newest machines to 7 without any real difficulty. Right now we have 4 people running 7 and 5 people running XP.

    For a total of 9 people. Wow... that must be hard... Try doing that for the company I work for. 56,000 employees.. There is no real incentive for companies to move over to win 7. for a comp like the one I work for it would be a HUGE cost to move to win 7. Millions upon millions of dollars. Now you tell me why they should move.
  • 5 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , July 14, 2010 2:42 PM
    lord_selderWhy do XP fanboys cheer this? XP is bad.
    ... cause they're XP fanboys perhaps?

    And I completely agree with MS decision on this. I work for a university, and with our budget continually being cut, we just can't afford to buy new machines that can run Windows 7 for everyone. Our developers and GPU-intensive employees have all mostly moved to Windows 7 64-bit; but those users who do little beyond email and web-based programs, they're still running XP and it'll be that way until our state stops cutting our budget.
  • -6 Hide
    wittermark , July 14, 2010 2:49 PM
    maydaynomoreFor a total of 9 people. Wow... that must be hard... Try doing that for the company I work for. 56,000 employees.. There is no real incentive for companies to move over to win 7. for a comp like the one I work for it would be a HUGE cost to move to win 7. Millions upon millions of dollars. Now you tell me why they should move.

    those companies did the same-thing when moving from win3.1 to win95, win95 to win98, and again from win98 to XP, I don't see how its a big deal to move on from a decade-old system to win7. its much faster and smarter. I hate working with XP systems, my work computer with Win7 installed is so much faster than my co-worker's, and I never get virus and Trojan, while they need to do a reinstall/ghost every few weeks just to keep their XP clean.
  • -6 Hide
    zak_mckraken , July 14, 2010 2:51 PM
    2020 is way too far. Large companies and cheap, smaller ones will wait even more before doing the switch, thus slowing the adoption of 64-bit OS, thus slowing the developpement of native 64-bit drivers and softwares.
  • -7 Hide
    dreamer77dd , July 14, 2010 2:53 PM
    i wish Microsoft just cut services for xp years ago, what a waste of time and innovation. i like to move forward now, come on. I feel like we should have bin a lot more farther in the future with software by now but we drag are feet always. :( 
  • 7 Hide
    moomooman , July 14, 2010 2:53 PM
    Makes sense to me, I've taken calls today from companies still using NT4....
  • 3 Hide
    enzo matrix , July 14, 2010 2:55 PM
    eugenesterHooray for XP PRO SP3!!! Now if only Win7 64 drivers become more commonplace....

    They are... stop living in 2006.
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