Downgrading Vista to XP Difficult, says Tech Experts

Dennis Faas's picture

If you're looking to purchase a new computer that comes with Vista and are planning on downgrading back to Windows XP, heed these words of caution: it ain't easy.

Many system integrators have been frustrated over the time-consuming process of downgrading from Vista to XP. In order to do so, users need to phone a special telephone number and obtain a unique key. (Source:

As one system builder noted, this can be a huge problem for large organizations. "... the activation has to be done manually. What if you are a customer with a 100 desktops? You'll have to manually key something on each system." (Source:

Another system builder echoed the sentiment. "Downgrade rights from Windows 98 or 2000 were much easier because you could install the older operating systems with any valid COA [Certificate Of Authenticity], and it would work. Obviously, this isn't the case from XP to Vista," said Todd Swank. (Source:

Users may not be the only ones negatively affected by this frustrating scenario. Microsoft may be suffering from lower sales and fewer switches to Vista as a result of the difficulty in switching back to XP.

Microsoft is aware of the situation and is working on a solution. John Ball, general manager of US systems builders for Microsoft, assures customers that the solution "will be sooner rather than later," promising a resolution by the end of the year. He also added that "senior executives have heard the feedback, and there is a lot of focus on getting this right. It's an issue globally, and we're focused on it." (Source:

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