How to build and sell 11 PCs licensed for Windows 8 Pro but installed as 'downgraded' Windows 7 Pro
Posted on 2013-10-25
This is my story, failing to properly understand Microsoft's Downgrade policy and what actual procedures must be followed. Will cost me days work or a bunch of money, or both.
I installed Windows 8 Pro on one PC for a customer who wanted eleven Windows 7 Pro PCs. After reading plenty of articles and the license agreement, we thought we could use this one PC to order a downgrade kit (CD and Key) to install all eleven PCs. The original PC was wiped and Windows 7 Pro installed (after receiving the downgrade kit).
We proceeded to install Windows 7 Pro on the Windows 8 'stickered' PCS (we sold them OEM Windows 8 Pro, with their PCs)
The eleventh PC would not activate, and it is my understanding that activation has been blocked now for this downgrade kit.
It appears from MS my only solutions is to install Windows 8 Pro on each PC and then have the end user request each PC be downgraded. Each will have it's own key this way, and will cost $31 each downgrade.
They have been using these PCS already and have their data and installed programs on them, so while installing Windows 8 pro and activating it, and waiting for the key to be mailed, the user will be without their pc.
MS suggested that I sell the customer what they wanted (Windows 7 Pro) in the first place.
I could do that now and lose $1500 or so getting Windows 7 keys. This solution at least keeps the users going without any reinstalls. I make only 15% profit on hardware, this will kill me.
Here's what I understand should have happened:
Step 1: Customer orders a new Windows 8 Pro PC but wants Windows 7 pro "downgrade".
Step 2: PC is built and Windows 8 Pro is installed on (and license COA sticker applied) to the equipment. Windows 8 Pro is activated on the equipment.
Step 3: End user (or their representative*) calls Microsoft Order Desk 1-800-360-7561 and they will ask for the activation number displayed on the PC. You may think of this as your "proof of purchase" of the Windows 8 Pro system. They will mail a key and DVD for $31.
Step 4: After receiving the downgrade kit, install the Windows 7 Pro and activate it before configuring the PC for the user.
Does anyone have experience 'fixing' this issue?