July 13th, 2010, 19:08 PM
Microsoft extends Windows XP downgrade rights until 2020
Just a day before Microsoft drops support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), the company announced on Monday that people running some versions of Windows 7 can "downgrade" to the aged operating system for up to 10 years.
The move is highly unusual. In the past, Microsoft has terminated downgrade rights -- which let customers replace a newer version of Windows with an older edition without paying for two copies -- within months of introducing a new OS.
While few consumers may want to downgrade from Windows 7 to XP -- unlike when many mutinied against Vista three years ago -- businesses often want to standardize on a single operating system to simplify machine management.
Monday's announcement was the second Windows XP downgrade rights extension. Microsoft originally limited Windows 7-to-Windows XP downgrades to six months after Windows 7's release, but backtracked in June 2009 after an analyst with Gartner Research called the plan a "real mess."
Full story: Computerworld