Microsoft offers Vista downgrades to customers

3 Jul 2007

Companies bothered by Vista incompatibility with their existing business software can ease the transition by availing of Microsoft’s new downgrade options, and switch back to XP until all software conflicts have been resolved.

Although businesses purchasing new PC hardware have no choice but to accept it with the Windows Vista operating system pre-installed, they are entitled to certain downgrade options, as documented in the End-User License Agreement (EULA).

Owners of Vista Business or Ultimate can downgrade to XP Professional, Tablet PC or x64 edition.

Windows won’t be supplying the downgrade software, but allows businesses to install previously used copies, without having the required registration keys.

On calling an activation support line, users will be given instructions on how to use their existing copies of the older operating system (OS) in their Vista rollback.

Although currently this must be done manually for each PC, making it an arduous process for an organisation with a large amount of computers, Microsoft is currently developing a system for activating many at a time.

An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) may install the downgrade for their customer, but cannot supply the software. It must be supplied by the end user.

As this applies only to Vista Business and Ultimate, home users will not be able to avail of the downgrade service.

By Marie Boran