HP Says No Way Back to Windows 7 from Windows 8 in New PCs

Today comes a report from CIO magazine that HP is advising its customers that purchasers of new PCs will not be able to return to Windows 7 from Windows 7.  Only purchasers of Windows 8 Pro will have downgrade rights, not the standard Windows 8 OS.

The announcement from HP went:

“Windows 7 will not be supported on these new platforms, and no drivers, apps, or Windows 7 content will be available through HP,” the company said. “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 upgrade operating system is causing the issue, HP may suggest returning the system to the original Windows 8 OS.”

This is a departure from established practice by OEMs, who allow users to run prior versions of OSs on newer hardware. Such “downgrade rights allow users to return to an older OS version without having to pay again for an OS.

HP is in effect alienating those customers who might want to try Windows 8, but reserve the right to go back to Windows 7 if they do not like it.  Many of those users might now choose other vendors such as Dell, who offer such downgrade options.

It appears that business users – typical purchasers of Windows Pro – are the only market segment HP is interested in providing a route back to Windows 7 or Vista.  For these Windows 8 Pro users, they will be able to downgrade to Windows 7 Professional or Vista Business.

Will HP lose customers because of this new policy?  Sound off below.

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