Those computer aficionados who are currently in a steamy romance with Windows 7 (or alternatively, those who simply think Windows 8 is the ugly, red-headed stepchild of the OS world) may want to avoid purchasing a new HP desktop or notebook shipped after the release of Windows 8 (October 26), as they’ll effectively be wed, till death do they part, with Microsoft’s new OS.
“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 stated.
“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.”
HP has stated that only new systems equipped with the Pro edition of Windows 8 will be downgradeable to either Windows 7 Pro, or Windows Vista Business. For those systems that don’t come equipped with the Pro edition of Windows 8, HP will allow buyers to upgrade to Pro, effectively unlocking the option to downgrade to the OS of their choice…to the tune of $70.
HP’s decision to put restrictions on downgrade rights is not entirely surprising, given that the process of downgrading is much more complicated than it was with Windows 7, and requires modifying the system’s BIOS and booting into Legacy Mode.
The move does not signal a complete divorce between HP and Windows 7 however, as the company continues to provide Windows 7 pre-installed on some of their products, which they are allowed to do until 2014 if they so desire (and it would appear they do).
The big question that remains to be answered is will customers be clamoring for downgrades from their new Windows 8 OS’s, or will the entire thing be a non-issue, with users happily hitched to Windows 8; at least until the next hot OS comes along, whispering sweet nothings in their ear.