Microsoft has gone public with a piece of its Windows 7 to XP downgrade guarantee that it refused to make official until yesterday: The end date.
Volume licensees who buy Windows are provided automatically with guaranteed downgrade rights to previous versions of Windows. A Windows 7 volume licensee has the right to downgrade to Vista, Windows XP or other previous versions of Windows, according to Microsoft’s policies.
Earlier this year, Microsoft officials refused to confirm a report which claimed that the company planned to limit the length of time it would allow users to downgrade from Windows 7 to XP to six months after Windows 7 shipped. The leaked memo pegged that date at April 2010, which both Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard (the OEM mentioned in the memo) declined to confirm.
On June 17, however, Microsoft officials told Computerworld that the downgrade period during which users will be allowed to move from Windows 7 to XP is going to end, at the latest, in April 2011, which is 18 months after the October 22, 2009 general availability date for Windows 7.