Windows 8 Pro's downgrade rights allow customers to fall back to either Windows 7 Professional or Vista Business.
An alternative to do-it-yourself downgrading is to purchase new PCs with Windows 7 installed. According to policies that Microsoft unveiled several years ago, OEMs will be able to offer new Windows 8 Pro PCs that are downgraded at the factory to Windows 7 Professional, and will be able to sell Windows 7-powered PCs for up to two years after the debut of Windows 8, in other words, until late October 2014.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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