After Windows 8 is released and comes preinstalled on new computers, will it have downgrade rights to Windows 7? (And if so, for how long?) The only downgrade info I could find on Microsoft's site did not include any info on 8, just 7 and Vista.
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Windows 8 continues in the tradition of previous Windows versions. If you buy a new PC with Windows 8 Pro installed, the license includes the following terms:
Can I downgrade the software? Instead of using the Windows 8 Pro software, you may use one of the following earlier versions: Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business.
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.
Note that Windows XP is not a permitted downgrade.
These rights are similar to those available in Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate, Windows Vista Business and Ultimate, and Windows XP Professional, all of which allowed a licensed user to install and run a previous version of Windows in place of the licensed
And if you were hoping for a loophole that would let you buy one of those inexpensive $40 upgrades to Windows 8 Pro, which you could then use to downgrade to Windows 7 Professional, you are out of luck. Downgrade rights are not available for System Builder
copies of Windows 8 installed with a Personal Use License or for upgrades from a preinstalled copy of Windows 8. The purpose of downgrade rights is for you to continue using an existing supported version of Windows when you buy a new PC with the latest version.
Volume License customers who purchase Software Assurance contracts from Microsoft will continue to have downgrade rights on systems they purchase that include Windows 8 Pro.