In my Microsoft Volume licesning window I have the rights for the following software…. Windows Vista, or Windows XP.  I also have downgrade rights for Office 2007 to 2003 to XP.  So what exactly does downgrade rights mean?  Does it mean that once I roll myself back to Office XP that I can’t upgrade to Office 2007?  Does it mean that once I use a license of Windows XP that I’m stuck with that license on that machine forever?  Nope to both.

Which 2007 Microsoft Office system suites are eligible to downgrade to Office 2003 suites?

Customers who have licensed Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 are eligible to downgrade to Office Professional Enterprise 2003 and all previous versions as described above. Customers who have licensed Microsoft Office Standard 2007 are eligible to downgrade to Office Standard Edition 2003 and all previous versions of Office Standard Edition. 


If I have Windows Vista Enterprise, what can I downgrade to?Downgrade rights in the Volume Licensing programs provide customers with the right to downgrade to any prior version of the same product. Windows Vista Enterprise is a new type of product and does not have a prior version. However, customers licensed for use of Windows Vista Enterprise are licensed for Windows Vista Business, and it can be downgraded to the Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT® 4.0, Windows NT 3.51, Windows 98, or Windows 95 operating system. You would not, however, be able to downgrade to Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Home Premium, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, or Microsoft Windows Millennium as those are different products and not considered previous versions of Windows Vista Business

If I wanted to I could run Windows 95 with Office XP is I wanted to really knock myself out.  On those HP machines I bought that had “Vista Business with XP downgrade rights”, they shipped with XP.  That means I could stay with them at XP if I really wanted to and in say 6 months THEN upgrade them to Vista.  Or I could install them with Vista and say 6 months later roll back down to XP (the only caveat being that the XP images were like OEM XP Home machines, they shipped without media and you needed to build your own recovery/repair media to take them back to that XP factory shipped image.

Buying those HPs or Lenovo’s for Dells that offer the Vista with XP downgrade rights means that I can run either one, install either one, upgrade or roll back to either one, I just can’t run both at the exact same time.


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