Windows 7 to Windows XP Downgrade Rights

Q: (from Sal)

Concerning the Windows XP downgrade rights,  can you verify if these rights have been extended?

See here:


A: (with support from Khody Golshan)

I’ve found several references to the Windows 7 OEM downgrade rights being extended to 2020 from 3rd party resources, but nothing from Microsoft directly. The closest I’ve found is a blog entry from July 12th, 2010 that was revised on July 13th.

And if you look at our Windows 7 support site (, the Windows 7 extended support lifecycle goes until January, 14th, 2020 but…

In an update posted on July 13th:

  • “Customers who purchase Windows 7 PCs with end user downgrade rights as provided in the software license terms (EULA) will be able to downgrade to Windows XP Professional on those PCs for the life of the PC. However, customers will not be able to buy a Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate PC with end user downgrade rights after Windows 7 reaches the end of sales date in the OEM channel – which according to the current Windows Lifecycle policy is 2 years after the next version of Windows ships.”

Which is confirmed on the OEM site:

Although that doesn’t provide a specific date since we don’t know the release date of Windows, it is pretty clear that it ISN’T January, 2020.


A: (with support from David Priebe of Ingram Micro)

Not to belabor the point, but one thing that I think should be pointed out is that there typically are different downgrade entitlements based on the channel that a product may be purchased from.  As an example, volume licensing product typically don’t have any restriction on the for downgrade rights, meaning that the only problem that a customer may face is where to get the downgrade media.  OEM and FPP typically are not so open ended.  The following link does a pretty decent job of calling out the differences (see towards the bottom):

And for a more generic reference for Microsoft product downgrade rights customers can use the following link:

Good point David – thanks for the information.


SDeming Face Steve


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