What about the Windows 8 Downgrade Options with Desktops and Laptops?
After Vista’s setback, Microsoft put double the efforts in Windows 7 development. Welcome 2013. Any disgruntled users will be looking for Windows 8 downgrade once the new learning curve is steep. The downgrade rights will be crucial to Metro OS success if users decide to revert back to 7.
[Image Source : forums.mydigitallife.info]
Lately, HP confirmed that if PC users decide to change operating system (to UNIX or Windows 7), their Windows 8 desktops and laptops will still be under warranty. But HP doesn’t support consumer PCs downgrades from Windows 8 to 7.
HP’s clarification on this subject matter is as follows:
Yes, customers can downgrade to Windows 7, but Microsoft has different terms regarding users’ downgrade rights and paths. HP recommends customers to check with Microsoft for the terms governing their specific operating system edition.
However, HP has not tested all Windows 8 platforms for Windows 7 and we may not have your particular drivers available. If you choose to install a different operating system (OS) and have a problem that requires HP support, you may need to restore the original OS to fully diagnose your problem. Please check with HP Customer Care for questions related to your specific product.
The bottom line of the above warranty is that, HP still won’t guarantee that they’ll have Windows 7 drivers for its Windows 8 retail/consumer PCs. So in the scenario of a Windows 8 downgrade don’t count on Microsoft or HP to supply with the drivers for your hardware.
This is the support provided, if you buy Windows 8 Pro only.
If you want more clarity on downgrade issue, you can see this article from Microsoft. In this article Microsoft has made it clear that Windows 8 Pro OEM versions are eligible for downgrade to
- Windows 7 Professional
- Windows Vista Business
It has also made clear about the downgrade rights process. To downgrade a Windows 8 Pro desktop or laptop, customers must fulfill the following 3 conditions.
- Purchase a PC preinstalled with Windows or Windows Server software.
- Accept the End User Software License Terms.
- Perform the downgrade or authorize a third party to perform it on their behalf.
What are the Steps for the Downgrade Process?
For example if you want to downgrade from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7 Professional, follow the following steps.
1 – Get a genuine Windows 7 Professional DVD or MSDN or TechNet copy and a corresponding product key. But there are some limitations in obtaining the media.
i. The media should come from a prior legally licensed version from the OEM or Retail channels.
ii. But for VL (Volume Licensing) users of Microsoft, they can provide their VL media and key to a system builder to facilitate the downgrade on their own systems.
2 – Insert the Windows 7 Professional media in the DVD or optical drive and follow the installation instructions.
3 – Type the product key. But there are some limitations here also with the product key. In case the software key was previously activated, you will not be able to activate it online again.
In this case, the appropriate local Activation Support phone number will be displayed. Call that particular number and speak to the representative. If the customer service representative determines that the end user is having an eligible Windows license, he will provide single-use activation code to activate the software.
4 – Activate the software.
As you can observe from the above words, the Windows 8 downgrade is not a fully win-win affair. Microsoft has made the possibility of downgrade process smooth with details, but what if the drivers are not available for that particular hardware and particular downgraded OS. So only time will tell, whether there will be third-party support in the most important case of drivers and will Windows 8 click like Windows 7.