updated 12:00 am EDT, Fri June 19, 2009
XP downgrades to 2011
Following sharp criticism from analysts, Microsoft has quickly backed away from its previous announcement that placed a six-month limit on XP downgrades after the release of Windows 7. Michael Silver of Gartner earlier in the week described the limitation as potentially causing a "real mess," as the software maker typically provides a wider time frame for enterprises to transition between operating systems.
Many business with large-scale XP deployments might not be ready to switch to Windows 7 until late in 2010. Six months of downgrade availability following the October launch window would force the companies to be ready by April.
Silver argues that any systems requiring XP, but acquired after the deadline, would need to be purchased with Vista Ultimate or Vista Business for downgrade rights. To transition directly to Windows 7 the companies would need to purchase additional upgrade licenses.
In response to the criticism, Microsoft has extended the time-frame to 18 months or "until the release of a Windows 7 service pack, whichever is sooner," according to Computerworld. Despite the slight policy adjustment, businesses will be in the same situation if Microsoft manages to slip an SP1 update in the first shortly after the OS launches.