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Win 10 Pro EOM downgrade to Win 7 Pro

Posted on 2016-10-19
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Last Modified: 2016-10-20
I have all Win 7 computers right now and they are working well and we have no reason to upgrade to Win 10.  However after Oct.  31, we will no longer be able to purchase OEM Win 7 installed with PC's apparently.  So if I purchase a PC after Oct. 31 with Win 10 installed will I be able to downgrade to Win 7 Pro?
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Question by:lineonecorp
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by:William Fulks
ID: 41851127
It depends on the make/model of the PC and if drivers are available for Windows 7. Your question is way too general to give a specific answer, but the key thing is driver availability.
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by:lineonecorp
ID: 41851160
Thanks for the warnings but I am asking about whether Microsoft will have downgrade rights after Oct. 31 for Windows 10 to Windows 7.  Whether a new PC would work with Windows 7 is a different question - important to think about but not the one I was asking.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 83 total points
ID: 41851217
Well, first, your question is primarily a licensing question so the usual legal disclaimers apply. If you break the law, the "I read it on the internet" defense is not gonna be a legal excuse.

With that said, plan on running windows 10.

Do you *get* downgrade rights?  Technically, yes.  But Microsoft does not provide downgrade keys o media to end users for OEM installs. The logic is that they (rightly) leave that to the OEMs. So if the OEM builds a machine that uses new hardware (such as a graphics card) that doesn't have older drivers, the OEM isn't on the hook for supporting an older OS. The OEM can choose not to provide or honor downgrade rights.

Which brings up an interesting situation. When an OEM can no longer sell a machine pre-installed, and can no longer buy OEM keys from Microsoft (they have been off the sales sheet for some time), and cannot embed keys into firmware for auto-activation (also part of what goes away when OEM sales deadlines are reached), how *can* an OEM fulfill downgrade rights? Short answer is, they can't. And you can't legally buy OEM after-market media because of the OEM agreements.

So while you technically have downgrade rights, you have no legal way to exercise those rights.  Thus...my answer. Effectively, plan on running windows 10.
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by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 83 total points
ID: 41851260
So if I purchase a PC after Oct. 31 with Win 10 installed will I be able to downgrade to Win 7 Pro?

This is probably a question best posed to Microsoft's telephone licensing support.

But:  When an OEM licenses with Microsoft for the most recent release of Windows, part of the deal is that they are no longer allowed to actively support older versions.  So I suspect Cliff is right and it will be impossible to get activation keys from the OEMs.

That leaves the old standby, which is buying unused retail licenses on fleabay.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41851323
I just purchased a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 and one of the purchase options was downgrade rights.
I think you will continue to be able to get downgrade rights for a while yet.

However, WHY?

I have been using Windows 10 Pro 64-bit for over a year now and it works just fine in every environment. No issues.

At our clients, we are allowing Windows 7 machines to die out, but new ones are all Windows 10. It works with Server 2008 and Server 2012.

Try the new machines with Windows 10 and you will be happy .
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 164 total points
ID: 41851371
First, many of my clients, especially my smaller business clients without servers, are infuriated with Windows 10's forced reboots.  It's a good enough reason after one year for me to say if you have any doubts or concerns about moving to Windows 10, especially since the license is not free, then you should stick with Windows 7.

Second, as I've seen mentioned by other consultants who claim to have spoken with their distributors recently, Microsoft is QUIETLY extending the deadline and you have until October 31, 2017 to order with Windows 7 pre-loaded.

Lastly, You can exercise downgrade rights EASILY by buying a SINGLE copy of Windows 10 Pro through Volume License.  The Volume License includes downgrade rights that also provides media and KEYS via the Volume License Service Center.  You can then install your VL license version of Windows 7 Pro on the Windows 10 Pro pre-installed (OEM) systems.
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Merete earned 170 total points
ID: 41851422
However after Oct.  31, we will no longer be able to purchase OEM Win 7 installed with PC's ,, ok but!!
Just buy a windows 7 sp1 setup disc  as suggested by Lee W, MVP
For your information                                            
Windows 7*       Service Pack 1      
End of mainstream support     January 13, 2015         
End of extended support         January 14, 2020
Windows lifecycle fact sheet
https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

I rolled 2 of my systems back to windows 7 for the multimedia side of things as the lifetime of these will survive till 2020 maybe not.
By then it wont matter as the tools I use will become obsolete by them, and as my media creation tool only works for current systems OEM I wont be upgrading them again back to windows 10..
However I can still build my own systems as I stay away from Brand names.
Getting a new system with 10 would be a far better success and probably fixed the issues.

Microsoft is calling Windows 10 'the last version of Windows as well
Microsoft has been discussing the idea of Windows as a service, they want the mainstream to give up desktops and go a different route as we move into new technology safer and more secure internet use and services globally.

I dont think you can roll a new windows 10 back to windows 7 or rather clean install windows 7 sp1 to a windows 10 system as the bios/motherboard must have dual Legacy and UEFI to support windows 7. Drivers maybe a problem and supporting software will be difficult to get so you need to use open source like Chrome browser instead of Edge Email client is now online with Office 365 etc.
Things to think about.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41851584
Please post back the spec of the new computer to be purchased before any further advice could be made.
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 41853126
Thanks for all the info.  I think I have what I need.
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by:Merete
ID: 41853179
Thanks glad it helped
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