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Windows 8 Downgrade Rights Print
September 2012
Microsoft Windows 8 with its new tablet-oriented interface will come with downgrade rights to let customers replace the new version of Windows with an older version without having to pay for two copies or licenses.

If you purchase a new Compucon PC with a Microsoft Windows 8 Professional OEM license you may exercise your downgrade rights and use one of the following earlier versions: Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business. Windows XP will fall off Microsoft's support list in April 2014 and has not been included in the list of allowable downgrades from Windows 8 Pro.

The Compucon team can install Windows 7 by default for you (effectively as a factory downgrade) and supply the Windows 8 Pro installation media so that your customers can upgrade for free when they are ready. You must instruct our team to do so in writing and you will need to source an existing Windows 7 license key for activating Windows 7 during the OOBE (Out of Box Experience) welcome screen.

Why would customers use downgrade rights?

Example: Your customer's organization needs a new system running on the same platform as its existing systems—Windows 7 Professional.

Downgrade rights offer a practical solution. The customer can:
  •     Purchase a PC with Windows 8 Pro.
  •     Downgrade—at no additional cost—to Windows 7 Professional.
  •     Move to Windows 8 Pro at an appropriate time.

End User requirements

Downgrade rights are an end-user right, documented in the Software License Terms that customers accept upon first running Windows software.

Note that end user downgrade rights will be available through the sales life cycle of Windows operating systems, which is up to two years after the launch date of a new version.

This summary is intended to be a general informational overview of the downgrade rights outlined in the End User Software License Terms for the indicated Microsoft OEM system builder product. Please refer to the actual License Agreement for the precise terms and conditions that govern use of the software.

The Downgrade Process

To downgrade Microsoft Windows 8 Pro software, customers must:
  1. Purchase a PC preinstalled with Windows 8 Pro.
  2. Accept the End User Software License Terms.
  3. Perform the downgrade or authorize a third party to perform it on their behalf.

Follow these steps to downgrade to Windows 7 Professional:
  1. Obtain genuine Windows 7 Professional media and a corresponding product key.
    • The media should come from a prior legally licensed version from the OEM or Retail channels.
    • End users who are licensed separately through Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) may 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 drive and follow the installation instructions.
  3. Type the Windows 7 Professional product key.
    • If the Windows 7 Professional was previously activated, you will not be able to activate it online. In this case, the appropriate local Activation Support phone number will be displayed. Call the number and explain the circumstances. When it is determined that the end user has an eligible Windows 8 Pro license, the customer service representative will provide a single-use activation code to activate Windows 7 Professional. Please note that Microsoft does not provide a full product key in this scenario.
  4. Activate the Windows 7 Professional.

Third Party requirements (e.g. Compucon or Compucon Reseller)

Provided that certain requirements are met, end users may request that another party perform the downgrade on their behalf. The following text provides a summary of how to meet those requirements, and what that process entails.

  • The end user must first accept the Software License Terms of Windows 8 Pro in advance of the downgrade facilitation service, as those license terms govern use of the downgrade software (Windows 7 Professional). These License Terms provide rights to the end user, not to OEMs or channel partners. End user acceptance must occur prior to the facilitation service upon first boot of the operating system.
  • For clarity, any facilitating party must have a specific end user request, and facilitation may be done only on the specific system(s) belonging to that end user. Therefore, downgrading systems in advance of an end user request is not allowed.
  • To perform the downgrade, legally licensed Windows 7 Professional software media is required. The facilitating party should obtain such media from the end user.

Microsoft Local Activation Support centre:

  • Website: Click Here
  • New Zealand Phone Number: 0800 676 334

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