Just a day before Microsoft drops support for Windows XP SP2, the company announced, the release of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Beta. Also, provided customers and partners with more predictability around the lifecycle of Windows XP.
"To support our customers" "unprecedented move" to migrate their PC to Windows 7, we've decided to extend downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional beyond the previously planned end date," said Microsoft….This'll help maintain consistency for downgrade rights throughout Windows 7 lifecycle. As a result, OEM versions of Win7 Professional and Win7 Ultimate will continue to include downgrade rights to similar versions of Vista or XP Pro.
"Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they're ready to use Windows 7. Enabling such rights throughout Windows 7 lifecycle will make it easier for customers as they plan deployments to Windows 7."
Also, said that "retailers to sell boxed version of previous OS for up to 1 year after the release of new OS, "this means since Win7 launched on Oct 22, 2009, retailers will be able to sell boxed version of Windows Vista until Oct 22, 2010, and OEMs will be able to sell PCs with Windows Vista preinstalled until October 22, 2011"."