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No downgrade rights in Preinstalled OEM Windows 8 (Core)?


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I was browsing the "Understanding Downgrade Rights" page at Microsoft, and there is no mention that I can see of any downgrade rights for Windows 8 - only the Windows 8 Pro edition is mentioned.

Understanding downgrade rights

[h=2]Downgrade rights offer a practical solution. The customer can:[/h]
  • Purchase a PC with Windows 8 Pro preinstalled.
  • Downgrade—at no additional cost—to Windows 7 Professional.
  • Move to Windows 8 Pro at the appropriate time. The system is licensed and ready for conversion.
Windows and Windows Server software eligible for downgrade rights
Windows 8Windows 7Windows Server 2008
[h=2]OEM versions of Windows 8 eligible for downgrade[/h]Windows 8 Pro includes downgrade rights to:

  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows Vista Business

[h=2]Downgrade rights process[/h]
To downgrade Microsoft Windows or Windows Server software, customers must:

  • Purchase a PC preinstalled with Windows or Windows Server software.
  • Accept the End User Software Licence Terms.
  • Perform the downgrade or authorise a third party to perform it on their behalf.

Does this mean that Windows 8 (Core) preinstalled by an OEM has no Downgrade rights?

When the Downgrade Rights details and FAQ page is read, things become more confusing as it seems to shift to OEM System Builder installations:

Downgrade rights details and FAQ

[h=2]What to know about downgrade rights[/h]The following provides more details about downgrade rights for Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise and Datacentre versions and Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Also see the Downgrade Rights FAQ.
  • End users can use the following media for their downgrades: retail (full packaged product), or system builder edge-to-edge media (DVD), provided the software is acquired in accordance with the Microsoft OEM System Builder Licence. End users can use one legal version of the downgrade media for multiple installations. They don't need to have one set of media for each PC they are downgrading, because they have acquired legitimate full operating system licenses for the most recent version, which gave them the right to downgrade.
  • In the event the end user opts to downgrade, neither Microsoft nor the PC manufacturer is obliged to provide customer product support for systems on which downgraded software is installed.
  • The software may not be installed on any computer system other than the one that was downgraded under this right.
  • If downgrading, the end user cannot use the new operating system (for example, Windows 8 Pro) and the downgraded operating system (for example, Windows 7 Professional) at the same time.
  • If an end user chooses to downgrade to an approved, prior version of the Windows desktop operating system, the PC manufacturer still must apply the desktop operating system Certificate of Authenticity (COA) to the PC.
  • End users may reinstall the software at any time, provided the downgraded operating system has been removed from the computer and that software is reinstalled on the same PC on which it was originally installed, using the original OEM system builder edge-to-edge media (DVD) distributed with the original PC. The end user will need to use the product key, located in the centre of the Certificate of Authenticity (COA), in order to activate the following products:
    • Windows 8 Pro
    • Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate
    • Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate
    • Windows XP Professional
    • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
    • Windows XP x64 Edition
    • Windows Server 2008
    • Windows Small Business Server 2008
  • For Client Access Licence (CAL) downgrades, end users may use Windows Device CALs and Windows User CALs with an earlier version of the software in accordance with the terms of the of the Windows Server 2008 End User Software Licence Terms.

This summary is intended to be a general informational overview of the downgrade rights outlined in the End User Software Licence Terms for the indicated Microsoft OEM system builder product. Please refer to the actual Licence Agreement for the precise terms and conditions that govern use of the software.

So whereas the Downgrade rights are at "no additional cost", the software that is used for the downgrade cannot be used on another system whilst the downgrade is installed - if I read this right!
In the event the end user opts to downgrade, neither Microsoft nor the PC manufacturer is obliged to provide customer product support for systems on which downgraded software is installed.
The software may not be installed on any computer system other than the one that was downgraded under this right.

So I presume you must get someone with retail or System Builder versions of the Downgrade OS to do it for you, assuming you don't wear an eye-patch or have bought your own media in the past. How do you do this at "no additional cost"?

When I try to get further information following some links on the page I am taken to: Enrolling in Microsoft Partner Network

presumably because the document I was trying to get is on a download server available to the Microsoft Partner Network, and therefore enrollment in the scheme is necessary.

This seems quite weird. The Downgrade Rights page states:

Provided that certain requirements are met, end users may request that another party perform the downgrade on their behalf. The following document provides clarity about how to meet those requirements, and what that process entails.
End User Downgrade Rights Facilitation Options .pdf 88 KB
Because downgrade rights apply to end users, they are not primarily designed for third-party facilitation, which has many complications. Also, such facilitation is not suitable for carrying out on a large scale.

Why would an end user need to be enrolled as a Microsoft Partner?

So even if you have an eligible edition, "no additional cost" does not mean freely available.

Doesn't Microsoft want you to downgrade or something?


My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
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    HP COMPAQ Presario CQ57
    AMD E- 300 APU with Radion HD Graphics 1.30GHz
    Graphics Card(s)
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    Seagate ST9500325AS
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    BT Infinity Unlimited - 80 up 20 down =70/16 really
    Chrome Canary usually
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes
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    no Start menu modifications
    Upgraded with no issues to 8.0 and to 8.1


New Member
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Hi there
seems clear to me

screenshot enc -- and English wasn't my ist language -- however I can't see what's the problem here.

W8 PRO ===>W7 PRO or Vista PRO business edition -- what's so complicated about that.

they won't downgrade a non W8 Pro to a W7 Pro -- why on earth would they.

If you've W8 PRO on your machine you should be eligible for the downgrade. What happens when you try and download it.



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My Computer

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    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
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    1 X LG 40 inch TV
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    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
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    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)


I remember researching the downgrade rights before I bought a Windows 8 (non-pro) laptop and it was pretty clear to me that it had no downgrade rights since it was not the Pro edition.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 7 / Win 8
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo T510 / HP ProBook 4540S
    Intel i5-510m / Intel i3-3110m
    4GB / 8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays


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All about doing your homework.

My OEM test rig,Windows 8 specs:

OEM said:
OS Provided Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Edition Microsoft Office Preloaded Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC. Software Drivers & Utilities, Nero Essentials S, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Norton Internet Security (60 days trial), Fujitsu Recovery, Windows 7 / Windows 8 Pro Twin-Pack recovery DVD

OEM said:
Compatible operating systems

Microsoft Windows 8, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, Windows 7 Professional 32-bit, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Windows 7 Home Basic (EM) 32-bit,\r\nWindows Vista, Windows XP, \r\nopenSUSE Linux

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4


New Member
VIP Member
You can only downgrade OEM installed Windows 8 PRO. You cannot downgrade any thing else like Windows 8 then upgrade to Windows 8 PRO you have no downgrade rights. There is no download for this.
You have to supply your own Windows 7 install media and a license for the install.
When you install Windows 7 you WILL have to do a phone activation as the license will have been already used.
When you call you will need the license number for the Windows 8 PRO that was installed on the computer that is stored in the bios.
You may revert back to Windows 8 at any time at no cost.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win7/8 Mint
    System Manufacturer/Model
    lenovo W530
    intell i7
    Screen Resolution
    Hard Drives
    512 gb ssd
    Other Info
    Around 13 million employes

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