Downgrade from Windows Vista to Windows XP

This sure sounds funny to say it, but Microsoft is trying to make it easier to downgrade from Windows Vista to Windows XP, as some applications still don’t work correctly or won’t run under Windows Vista. But, don’t worry, they have had the downgrade path for awhile now, you could and still can downgrade your Windows XP to Windows 2000.

Microsoft is simplifying the processes via which its PC-maker partners will be able to provide ?downgrade? rights from Windows Vista to Windows XP for their customers.

Microsoft will implement the first of the policy changes for its Gold Certified (top-tier) OEM partners within the next couple of weeks. The company will streamline downgrade-rights policies and procedures for the broader channel somewhat later, said John Ball, general manager of Microsoft?s U.S. Systems Group.

Under current licensing terms, Microsoft allows customers buying PCs preloaded with Windows Vista Ultimate and Vista Business to roll back to Windows XP until they are ready to make the move to Vista. For OEMs, the process via which these rights can be activated has been quite cumbersome, Ball acknowledged. Source: Microsoft to simplify downgrades from Vista to XP

So, if you buy your PC from Dell, HP, etc, you will be able to roll them back to Windows XP and still have the option to bring them back to Windows Vista when you are ready for it. You can downgrade Windows Vista Business and Ultimate to Windows XP Professional, Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Professional 64 bit Edition, you can downgrade Windows XP Pro, Tablet Edition and Pro 64 bit to Windows 2000 Professional. A few other facts from the article comparing Windows Vista to Windows XP.

  • Ninety-nine percent of all Windows PCs sold at retail are being sold with Vista preloaded
  • Seventy-eight percent of PCs preloaded with Vista are shipping with ?premium? SKUs (like Vista Ultimate and Vista Home Premium)
  • Microsoft is experiencing 21 percent fewer support calls with Vista than it did with Windows XP
  • Fewer security issues that need patching with Vista than XP (five Vista issues in the first 90 days vs. 18 with XP in the first 90 days)
  • Device compatibility is high and getting higher daily