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Microsoft confirms Windows 7 to XP downgrade rights

This weekend, we reported that HP was going to offer Windows 7 users the ability to downgrade to XP. Here’s what a Microsoft spokesperson says:

Yes. This is not the first time that Microsoft has offered downgrade rights to a version other than its immediate predecessor and our Software Assurance volume-license customers can always downgrade to any previous version of Windows. (Note: Microsoft changed the statement from “Software Assurance” to “volume license” Monday afternoon.)

(The spokesperson clarified later that downgrade rights allow users to install previous versions of Windows, not just the most recent predecessor. In other words, a Software-Assurance-covered volume-license user who wanted to downgrade from Vista could, technically, go back to Windows 2000 or even Windows 95, not just XP. Who knew?)

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