(republishing from archived my blog site)
Several news articles are out in circulation regarding the recent announcement that Windows XP will be an optional selection for the downgrade rights, which has spurred a lot of questions at the SB2@TS2 events around the reasoning behind this decision. When this first came to my attention over a week ago when it was first raised by Partners in Fort Worth, I contacted the product team to gain some insight into the decision because I was both confused and disheartened by the notion until I really understood the reasoning for the choice.
I'm going to share some of the Q&A Highlights I received from my colleague that is part of the Windows Client team since they are very similar to the questions that came up last week and today. This is the "official verbiage" so enjoy the Microsoft speak.
So does Microsoft have downgrade rights for Windows XP planned as part of Windows 7?
Yes. OEM Downgrade rights will be available for 6 months post Windows 7 General Availability (aka Launch). This is not the first time that Microsoft has offered downgrade rights to a version other than its immediate predecessor and our Volume Licensing customers can always downgrade to any previous version of Windows.
Why is Microsoft allowing customers to downgrade to Windows XP from Windows 7, is it because of the poor reception of the marketplace to Windows Vista?
What is this about Windows 7? Why are you already taking about downgrades of Windows 7 when it hasn’t even been released yet?
What about Windows 7, when will that be available?
What are downgrade rights, and why does Microsoft offer them?
My organization isn’t ready to move to Windows Vista software. What should we do?
What is the downgrade rights policy?
How long will I be able to obtain downgrade media from my PC maker?
If you'd like to read some of the articles that brought all this about, try the links below.