Windows XP downgrade rights extended until 2020 [Updated]

By on July 13, 2010, 11:31 AM
Update: Jill Lovato from the Windows PR team sent us a note to clarify a few things. Namely, that the downgrade right is specific to the EULA for Windows 7, not the tech support deadline for Windows 7 in January 2020. Customers will not be able to buy a PC with downgrade rights to XP after Windows 7 is retired from market -- which according to policy is 2 years after the next version of Windows ships.

Last year, after being met with disapproval from analysts and consumers alike, Microsoft prolonged the availability of its Windows XP downgrade option to 18 months instead of six as originally planned. The decision meant that companies would have until April of 2011 to move off of XP. But now the aging operating system is getting yet another lease of life, as Microsoft decided to extend that period until 2020 throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc said in a recent blog post that Windows 7 has gained a lot of traction among consumers, and with Windows powering approximately 96% of the enterprise desktop market it's a no-brainer for most firms to eventually transition as well. However, 74% of businesses still use Windows XP, and for a lot of them the cost of upgrading their entire infrastructure to support Windows 7 is not financially justifiable just yet.

So, while few consumers may want to downgrade from Windows 7 to XP, it's another story in the corporate world where businesses often want to standardize on a single operating system to simplify machine management. The downgrade rights will be available only from OEM copies of Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate -- those that are pre-installed by computer makers. Curiously, the announcement coincides with the end of support for XP SP2, so anyone who still wants to be covered by Microsoft support will at least have to move to Windows XP's Service Pack 3.

User Comments: 13

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princeton princeton said:

By 2020 companies wont be able to get by with XP. It just wont be near functional enough.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

" Microsoft decided to extend that period until 2020."

Wow - 10 more years of XP. But I agree with princeton. By 2015, xp won't be a viable OS any longer and businesses/consumers won't really have a choice. Upgrade or grind to a halt.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Does this mean Microsoft will extend it's security update support for XP from 2014 to 2020?

Either way, I won't let anything I'm working on run XP four years from now...not unless I can keep it off of the internet : /

Guest said:

XP sp4.. anyone..?

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

mattfrompa said:

Does this mean Microsoft will extend it's security update support for XP from 2014 to 2020?

Good question, since they said extended support was ending for SP3 in 2014 I wonder if this means it'll last till 2020.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Facts are to many single core CPU 32-bit were made from 2005 and currently these work perfect with Windows XP very quick. So big corporate companies here in the USA not going to ditch new systems with single core just to run Windows 7 32/64-bit. All there UAT (user acceptance testing) these would have to be done to make sure what was tested in the Model Office passes before a Windows 7 deployment could ever happen. This process can cost plenty for company of 1,500 employees or those exceeding 5,000 employees much more. So right now it's best for companies that are on a lease agreement for hardware and software support with the outsource company that is managing IT infrastructure. This again cost money and companies have to see if it worst the push to ditch all the older hardware for brand new models with dual-core or quad-core or hexa-core to run the next generation of Windows 7 64-bit or wait it out for Windows 9 128-bit.

Guest said:

I want downgrade rights to Ubuntu with a refund for the os that came on the system. Why do I have to pay extra for the os and buy a back door where microsoft can rape me with an open system and shitty security holes.

Guest said:

buy barebones system with no OS installed, put Ubuntu on it instead, duhhh!

tengeta tengeta said:

This should help the 64-bit era get going... oh wait.

Seriously though? Microsoft has done enough, people can't go back to Classic MacOS, and its hard as hell to get older versions of Linux without knowing someone with a copy. Windows XP can't possibly extend that long and still be secure or functional.

Guest said:

Windows XP outlived its usefulness a long time ago, IMO.

Anyone who insists on putting it on a new machine is an *****.

I have yet to find a program that is even moderately useful that will not run on 7 as well or better.

Guest said:

I love my XP

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

That will make it 19 years old. 19 years ago we had Windows 3.

Guest said:

Here's a use for XP: Try finding film scanner driver software that works on Win7. Lots of software came out in the era of XP, and now that film scanners have gone the way of film and the dodo, it's impossible to get Win7 support on SCSI for old devices.

I love Win7-64, but this is my only reason for a single dual boot machine with XP, and I don't believe that need will go away until my negs decay, which will probably be a while past 2020.

And given the cost of high end film scanners (more than a PC) it makes more sense to allocate an XP machine to it, than to buy a new film scanner (even if one was available...)

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