MICROSOFT AND ITS TAME BOX BUILDERS have confirmed that downgrades will be possible from Windows 7, and that some OEMs will even continue to offer XP as a pre-installed option to volume license customers.
We reported yesterday that Hewlett Packard had struck a deal with the software giant, allowing it to offer XP as a downgrade option, but it would seem that the deal is not exclusive to HP as a Microsoft spokesvole confirmed in an email exchange to ZDnet blogger Mary Jo Foley:
"Downgrade rights policies are the same for all of our main OEM partners and what you are talking about is not a special arrangement. Since the End User right to Windows XP Professional is part of the license terms for these editions, it’s really about making facilitation options easier for our OEM customers and End Users."
An HP spokesman also confirmed that download agreements were consistent across all OEMs but declined to provide further details.
And the same Volish insider hinted that it wasn't only possible to turn back the clocks from Windows 7 to Vista or even XP. "This is not the first time that Microsoft has offered downgrade rights to a version other than its immediate predecessor and our volume-license customers can always downgrade to any previous version of Windows."
Which would seem to suggest that volume license users could feasibly demand downgrades from Windows 7 to Vista, XP, 2000 or even 95.
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