In order to ensure a smooth transition over to Windows 8, Microsoft is allowing consumers that aren’t ready to move on to request a downgrade to Windows 7 from Microsoft.
If you plan on buying HP though, be advised that downgrading isn’t really supported by HP.
While you can still secure your copy of Windows 7 for downgrading from Microsoft, HP states they don’t recommend the process and will only support it for business users.
As for all consumer devices going forward, their drivers are only being optimized for Windows 8 and you might run into driver and other software issues with consumer-grade HP devices when attempting to install Windows 7.
HP has completely jumped ship from Windows 7 in all consumer devices, though some of its business lines will still support the older version of Windows.
While I personally LOVE Windows 8, not everyone feels this way. Should these users have the right to downgrade? Yes they should, but again– HP isn’t stopping them.
Instead HP is simply not going out of its way to optimize its devices for an OS that they are trying to phase out.
For those that are willing to hunt down drivers and do other tweaks and hacks to get their machines running, a downgrade should still be possible I’d wager.
Is this a good move on HP’s part or should they still have wider support for Windows 7 devices?