Thursday, June 26, 2008

Downgrading Vista to Windows XP

There is a lot of confusion about the possibilities for downgrading Windows Vista to Windows XP. After June 30, 2008, the leading computer manufacturers (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc.) will no longer sell desktops and notebooks solely with Windows XP.

Vista to XP to VistaFully supported, factory-installed Windows XP Professional is available as a "Vista downgrade". With your new Vista computer, you receive operating system disks for both Vista and XP Pro, each licensed solely for use on your new computer.

You can transition to Vista at any time. However, before you install your copy of Vista, you will have to backup your data. Vista's installation (or XP's reinstallation) will erase all of your programs, data and customized settings.

Only two editions of Vista come with "downgrade rights":
  • Vista Business
  • Vista Ultimate
If you want to downgrade Vista Home Basic or Premium to XP on your new computer, you must first upgrade (at added expense) to Vista Business or Ultimate.

In addition, you can only downgrade Vista to Windows XP Professional. You cannot downgrade Vista to Windows XP Home.

Windows XP Availability Matrix:

The Windows XP Availability Matrix lists the post-June 30, 2008 sources of XP Home and Professional Editions.

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