Microsoft has decided to support downgraded rights for Windows XP Pro for the life of Windows 7.
Microsoft likes to frequently remind us that Windows 7 is the fastest selling version of Windows in their history. It’s still not easy to erase your past though, although we aren’t talking about Windows Vista but rather Windows XP. It has been noticed that enterprises are still running 74% of their PC’s on Windows XP.
With such a high rate, Microsoft doesn’t want to brutally push enterprise to migrate to Windows 7, having decided that they would once again accept downgrade rights valid with OEM copies. These rights allow clients to replace a new version of Windows with an old edition, without having to pay for two copies of the OS.
With Windows 7, it was agreed that the downgrade rights to Windows XP would be in place for 18 months after the release of the OS, or the release of the first Service Pack of which the first beta version has just become available. Microsoft has now changed their position, as Windows 7 Professional and Integral version will be able to downgrade to Windows XP Pro for the lifespan of Windows 7. This is also applicable for applications that correspond to Windows Vista releases.
Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Windows client’s communications manager states that "Companies that want to continue to purchase new PC’s and downgrade their end user rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista will be able to until they are ready to use Windows 7. Allowing such rights for the lifespan of Windows 7 will make clients tasks easier when implementing their Windows 7 deployment projects."
Windows XP Pro available until 2020 It shouldn’t be forgotten though that today is the end of support for Windows XP SP2, which will no longer benefit from updates. With SP3, Windows XP will be able to benefit from upgrades until the 8th of April 2014. When using the Windows 7 Integral lifespan as a base, the downgrade rights to Windows XP Pro will be applicable until January 2015, while Windows 7 Professional will be supported until January 2020 (with the end of extended support).