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Microsoft: Downgrade Option For Upcoming Windows 7

April 9, 2009

Microsoft announced that any of its customers buying a PC with Windows 7 pre-installed would be able to swap it for XP or Vista, BBC News reported.

The software giant confirmed that the license conditions under which the software will be sold would allow people to downgrade if they are unhappy with the new operating system.

Businesses that buy licenses for Windows in bulk and consumers that get the operating system on a PC or laptop are eligible for the downgrade.

The company commonly offers licensing terms and conditions for downgrade rights, but it has recently been forced to expand and extend them for XP after so many users were reluctant or unhappy with the Windows Vista OS.

However, Microsoft claims Vista has been popular among PC users, even saying that figures suggest it has outsold XP over a similar time frame.

But the company has twice granted Windows XP a reprieve to allow computer makers to get licenses for it.

Released in 2001, Windows XP was also granted a lifeline to ensure that it could be used on so-called netbooks””the slower, cheaper versions of net-capable laptops that have seen a growing rise in popularity.

Meanwhile, competitors like Dell and HP have been exploiting clauses in the licensing terms that let them rollback to the older operating system on machines that come pre-installed with Vista.

Microsoft is acting now, as the cut-off date for free mainstream support for Windows XP ends and Windows XP and Home plus Office 2003 enter their “extended support” period from April 14.

From that point on, the only updates and bug fixes these products will get will be to improve security.

The release candidate of Windows 7, which will be broadly similar to the final version, will be released in late May 2009, Microsoft said.

But the final version isn’t expected until January 2010.

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