Customers who purchase Windows 7 PCs with end user downgrade rights as provided in the software license terms (EULA) will be able to downgrade to Windows XP Professional on those PCs for the life of the PC. However, customers will not be able to buy a Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate PC with end user downgrade rights after Windows 7 reaches the end of sales date in the OEM channel – which according to the current Windows Lifecycle policy is 2 years after the next version of Windows ships.
These changes are unrelated to our technical support policy. As mentioned in this blog post, extended support for Windows XP SP3 will continue through April 2014. So customers who downgrade their Windows 7 PCs to Windows XP will no longer be able to receive extended support after April 2014. After April 2014, customers will need to either get a custom support agreement or install a more modern OS on those PCs
And of course there’s also the question of third party applications that run on Windows XP that our customers need as well. Analyst firms such as Gartner
are predicting that many third party applications will no longer be supported by their makers after 2011, so we encourage customers to think holistically about their IT infrastructure as they make their Windows migration plans.