How can a new computer purchased with Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional (or Ultimate) be downgraded to Microsoft® Windows XP Professional?

Issue

As of December 2010, Microsoft® Windows XP is no longer available, preinstalled on new computers. Is there a valid, legal and legitimate workaround for running our software products that will not run on Microsoft® Windows 7?

Product Line

TAC I/A Series

Environment

New computer that was purchased pre-loaded with Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional or Microsoft® Windows 7 Ultimate

I/A Series software that runs only on Microsoft® Windows XP such as:

I/A Series (Niagara) R2 - all releases
I/A Series (Niagara) G3 - all releases prior to 3.6.x 

Signal XP

WorkPlace Tech Tool 3.2sp1

Cause

Microsoft® Windows XP is no longer available on new computers.

Resolution

Downgrade the Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional / Ultimate installation to Microsoft® Windows XP.

According to the Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional / Ultimate EULA (End User License Agreement) that the computer user must read when starting up a new computer, the following Operating System downgrade rights are available:

  • Downgrade rights for Windows 7 are an end-user right, documented in the Software License Terms that customers accept upon first running Windows software.
  • Windows 7 end user downgrade rights will be available through the sales lifecycle of Windows 7 which is up to two years after the launch date of a new version. 
    UPDATE:  As of November 2012, Microsoft has upgraded their Windows Lifecycle information, indicating that this upgrade right expires in February, 2014.

More information is available from the Microsoft Windows web site and from the attached document.