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Windows 7 with downgrade to XP – Going away???

Windows 7 with downgrade to XP – Going away???

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Not Exactly, which is why I am writing this post.  As I have been training several OEM partners of Microsoft, I thought it was important for all to understand what is upon us.

For those of you that didn’t know the OEM license of Windows 7 gives you N-2 rights for downgrade.  What does that mean exactly.  You can downgrade your systems to Vista or XP, which is 2 versions.  I would not recommend using a 10 year old operating system, especially if you purchase a “Business Oriented” version of Windows 7 that provides a feature called XP Mode.  With XP mode you get a licensed virtual machine of XP to run those few applications that do not run installed on Windows 7.

October 22nd is the date that all OEM Manufactures in the US will stop shipping downgrades of XP and VISTA pre-installed.  Some OEM’s have configuration and installation services that will continue to be able to use their bits for installation until next summer.  After next summer you will have to provide the bits or image to be installed.  With the downgrade rights stated above; you can always downgrade your system with your own media and product ID key.

April 2014 is when Windows XP SP3 extended support ends.  Only paid support or online support will be available.

When asking “Why customers are not deploying Windows 7, especially when they bought it”  some answers were common:

Customers don’t know Windows 7 and are familiar with Windows XP. – I remembering hearing that when Windows 95, Windows 2000, and Windows XP came out; but what can we as partners do about that. – Sounds like a great training opportunity, or use one of the Software Assurance benefits.

Customers don’t have time to look at testing and deploying it. – Once again I see this as an opportunity for partners to sell their services.  If it is a larger customer, again Software Assurance has a benefits called Desktop Deployment Planning.

Perception of XP mode is that it changes the install of Windows 7 to be like XP, this is not what XP mode does.  XP mode is a virtual instance inside of Windows 7.  I think of positioning it as a feature of the business editions of Windows 7.  There also seems to be a perception on performance.  As with any technology in the computer world, when you size an appropriate machine based on what it is going to do, it will perform.  It not, it won’t.  The minimum memory recommendation is 2 GB on a system that is going to run XP Mode; I would recommend 4GB, and give the virtual XP at least 1024.  Did you know that XP mode and Virtual PC have been updated.  You don’t even need a machine with hardware assisted virtualization technology anymore. – check out http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/faq.aspx

Here is a great chart showing the features available with each version of Windows 7.  Remember Enterprise and Ultimate have the same functionality, the difference between those 2 versions is “How” you purchase – Ultimate is OEM or FPP; Enterprise is a Volume License Upgrade with a “Qualifying” OEM license, which by the way, is NOT home edition  Another big difference is virtualization rights – Enterprise is 4.  For more information - http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/windows7.aspx#tab=4

 

 

   Feature

Windows 7 Enterprise / Ultimate

Windows 7 Professional

Windows 7 Home Premium

Windows XP SP3

BranchCache

ü

BitLocker To Go™

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AppLocker

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Direct Access

ü

Location-Aware Printing

ü

ü

Remote Desktop Host

ü

ü

Encrypting File System

ü

ü

Volume Activation

ü

ü

Domain Join and Group Policy

ü

ü

ü

Snipping Tool, Sticky Notes, Windows Journal

ü

ü

ü

Aero® Features

ü

ü

ü

Create a homegroup

ü

ü

ü

Live Taskbar Thumbnails

ü

ü

ü

Windows Search

ü

ü

ü

ü

Windows Media® Player

ü

ü

ü

ü

Group Policy Preferences

ü

ü

ü

ü

 

At the end of the day, we need to help our customers deploy Windows 7

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Comments
  • Great post, Thanks! I have a query about the downgrade rights. We've got some OEM Win 7 Pro machines which I would like to downgrade to XP which I'm entitled to. From Kenya when I call Microsoft, it redirects to S.A and they state a company called Direct Services handles the downgrades. They re-direct the line to Direct Services which is in Germany. I cannot get any online contact for Direct Services. One cannot hear a thing, or line gets disconnected. How to you then get the Windows XP which we're entitled to??? Distributors here do not have a clue!

    Any assistance from you will be highly appreciated!

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