Don't Downgrade Windows 8 Machines: Hewlett-Packard

Dennis Faas's picture

PC manufacturer Hewlett-Packard (HP) is advising its customers not to downgrade its computers delivered with the new Windows 8 operating system (OS) already installed.

The company says that if customers install Windows 7 on HP computers originally equipped with Windows 8, HP will not provide them with support, drivers, or applications.

Downgrading was a relatively common practice after the release of the unpopular Windows Vista in 2007, and some say it's being practiced again now that Windows 8 has received more than its fair share of criticism.

Downgrading a new computer is especially popular with the business crowd, who view acclimatizing their users to new operating systems as time consuming and expensive.

Windows 8 Pro Required for Downgrade

Right now, only consumers who purchase a PC equipped with Windows 8 Pro, rather than a standard version of Windows 8, have the option to downgrade their new machine to Windows 7 Professional, or even Vista Business.

Windows 8 Pro costs approximately $70 more than the standard version of Windows 8. (Source:

But Hewlett-Packard is obviously not in favor of downgrading.

"Windows 7 will not be supported on these new platforms, and no drivers, apps, or Windows 7 content will be available through HP," a Hewlett-Packard representative recently said. (Source:

"If users choose to downgrade their HP consumer desktop or notebook system, HP will continue to support the hardware but if there is an issue where HP diagnostics are required or it is determined that the loaded software or ... operating system is causing the issue, HP may suggest returning the system to the original Windows 8 OS."

New Windows 7 PCs May Be Sold Until October 2014

Although their numbers are shrinking, Windows 7 PCs are still out there in large numbers. According to Microsoft's own rules, PC manufacturers can equip new computers with an older Windows operating system during the two years after the launch of a newer Windows OS.

That means Windows 7-based PCs may be available (though not necessarily easy to find) until the end of October, 2014.

UPDATE: Hewlett-Packard has announced that it may offer software support for customers who make the downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7. HP also says that it will continue to offer support for all of its hardware.

A representative for Hewlett-Packard told Infopackets that any customer considering a downgrade should contact HP or Microsoft before initiating the process. To view HP's official statement on the issue, click here.

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