Win7 to Windows XP Downgrade Cutoff Date Extended

Dennis Faas's picture

After being criticized for their plans to limit sales of XP systems, Microsoft has reportedly decided to extend Windows XP's lifespan to as late as April 2011.

Michael Silver of Gartner Research, along with numerous others, scolded Microsoft for limiting users downgrade rights from Windows 7 to Windows XP for only six months after Windows 7 makes its first appearance.

Short Window for 'Downgrade' Option

Windows 7 is currently scheduled to launch on Oct. 22, 2009. Originally, Microsoft was only going to allow PCs to be downgraded to Windows XP until April 22, 2010.

Enterprises who wait for a year or more to upgrade to Microsoft's newest operating system after it is released could have faced problems moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 and back to Windows XP again if they had compatibility issues with legacy software.

Anger Leads to New Policy

Microsoft backed off the original plan and decided to implement a new policy: customers using Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate will have the downgrade option available for 18 months after Windows 7 is released, or until a Windows 7 service pack is released, whichever comes first.

Microsoft's new policy suggests that Microsoft is finally listening to its customers. Gartner's Michael Silver hopes they will do it again, especially if Service Pack 1 shows up in six or eight months. (Source:

It remains to be seen what the Windows XP deadline will be, but Microsoft is currently scheduled to officially retire it, halting all patch development and security updates in April 2014.

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