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Downgrade rights Any new PC you buy that has Windows 10 Pro preinstalled by the manufacturer comes with downgrade rights to Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Professional, for as long as Microsoft provides support for those earlier versions. You must supply your own installation media, and you have to activate manually.
Of course, there are perils and pitfalls associated with running the increasingly aging Windows 7, especially on newer hardware. System manufacturers have no economic incentive to develop drivers and support tools for older Windows versions. Most downgrades will work, but some components might not work properly, or at all.
On new systems with Intel's Kaby Lake processors, versions of Windows before Windows 10 will not be supported at all. That doesn't prohibit you from trying to install Windows 7 on one of these new devices, but don't expect any support from the PC maker or from Microsoft when you inevitably run into problems.
Most OEMs (HP, Lenovo, Dell) are still pumping out Windows 7 as the default OS. I actually had to specially request the Windows 10 *upgrade* media from Lenovo, rather than the other way around that Ed Butt's claiming
. Also, the only devices I've encountered that have issues with downgrading to Windows 7 are Microsoft's own crappy Surfaces because they've DELIBERATELY done that!Anyone who owns a Microsoft Surface has to be masochistic.
Also drivers, it depends on the device. Some devices are universal enough that they still work with newer drivers (re: touchpads & trackpoints). Ed Butt doesn't deal with technology enough to understand that, so whatever.
Regarding Ed BUTT's claim about Kaby Lake procs, I've never heard of a CPU not operating an edition of Windows because... it's all x86; I'm running Windows 7 on a chipset this very moment that I shouldn't, but I am and it works. If I wanted to, I could install Windows 7 on a computer from 1997 as mentioned before. It'd run slow but it could be done. The "System manufacturers" don't manufacture the components that actually RUN windows
, and that'd be the Intel CPU and chipset (I mean you can have third party chipsets, but they're rare today). So Intel and/or Microsoft would have to commit deliberate sabotage to cripple the Wintel platform beyond recognition for Windows 7 not to work on newer machines.
Hypothetically, let's say there is deliberate sabotage. Then you install Linux along with VMware for Linux and Install Windows 7 inside of that. AMAZING, Windows 7 to operate perfectly under a Kaby Lake system! Heck, you can pop in XP, 98 and MS-DOS in there too*.
*Intel actually removed one of the instruction sets that MS-DOS used, I can't remember what it was (maybe it was Virtual 8086 mode which would have been terminated prior to sandy bridge, but I think it's assumed that everybody would run it on VT-x instead). Also, UEFI would need to be ran in 'BIOS' or Legacy mode since DOS just communicates via BIOS routines. Mmmmm.. no drivers.... direct hardware access. At this point it seems like Intel is doing a better job at killing the legacy stuff, than Microsoft. Go figure. They've even just dropped VGA support on their video core in skylake.Enterprise customers also complained enough that Microsoft is forced to support Windows 7 critical updates on Skylake until 2018
. A lot of these journalists don't understand that Microsoft is often forced to keep support going; just like how they keep on releasing updates for XP for POS and other sensitive devices.