Does Win10Pro System Builder Downgrade Rights to Win81Pro really require two Windows OS license purchases?


In this url (no spaces in there)

we see:

·         To downgrade eligible Windows software, end users must: 

·         Purchase a PC preinstalled with Windows software.

·         Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.

·         Perform the downgrade process to the eligible downgrade product using the media/key from a genuine, previously licensed OEM or retail product.

One way of interpreting that that last bullet’s statement “…from a genuine, previously licensed OEM or retail product” would imply that a user with a PC that was purchased with a System Builder installation of Win10Pro, whose has already paid once for their Win10Pro OEM license, and who needs to regress to Win81Pro for some compatibility/whatever reason, must go out and buy another downstream Windows package (e.g. Win81Pro) somewhere (probably eBay), just so they have can have a Win81 product key to enter when installing Win81. 

I don’t see any “downgrade right” financial benefit here whatsoever. The customer needs Win81 and had to go out and buy it somewhere at market price.  So now the customer has paid once for the Win10Pro OEM System Builder license, and now has to pay once again for Win81Pro. If that’s the Win10Pro OEM System Builder Downgrade Rights benefit, then what’s the benefit of paying twice?

I look forward to any thoughts, comments or corrections.

Regards . . .

Comments (9)

9 responses to “Does Win10Pro System Builder Downgrade Rights to Win81Pro really require two Windows OS license purchases?”

  1. 1321

    They are assuming you already have access to the downgrade media and key from another computer.

    • 5786

      In reply to nightmare99:
      Hi nightmare99, Sorry for the late reply. I've had two unexpected PC failures to deal with. First let tme thank you for chiming in here. This is not an easy-answer discusion. So . . .   I agree that's their assumption. However, let's assume that you've bought a Win10 PC (ie. PC1) made with Win10 OEM System Builder media and licence. You now need to downgrade this Win10 PC1 to Win81. You just happen to have a Win81 media and license from another PC (ie. PC2) on your LAN. Since the Win81 PC2 was activated long ago and is stiill in daily production, how the heck are you going to be able to use PC2's product key to activage your downgraded Win10-to-Win81 machine? Or, is this when a call to the Product Key phone number support person is going to get you a new activation number sequence that will let PC1 now run Win81 without interfering with the licensing on PC2? Humm . . .  
      • 5615

        In reply to bab:

        In your scenario it sounds like you intend to run the two PCs at the same time, so it seems to make sense that you'd need to have purchased two licenses at some point.

        From "Downgrade rights details":

        "If downgrading, the end user cannot use the new operating system (for example, Windows 10 Pro) and the downgraded operating system (for example, Windows 8.1 Pro) at the same time."

        "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 center of the Certificate of Authenticity (COA), in order to activate the following products:

        Windows 10 Pro

        Windows 8.1 Pro"

        • 5786

          In reply to offTheRecord:

          Hi offtherecord,

          Thanks for the reply. I don't think anyone is getting this. Please left me put this another way, as follows.

          1. You have NO PCs whatsoever.

          2. You go out and buy a new Win10Pro PC (that has a license that qualifies for downgrade rights). So YOU HAVE JUST PAID FOR A WIN10PRO LICENSE, along with the cost of the hardware of course.

          3. Now you find that there's some compatability issue and you need to downgrade that new PC to Win81Pro. 

          4. According to the Win10Pro Downgrade Rights, to downgrade to Win81Pro, you will need Win81Pro media (duh) AND . . . A NEW UNACTIVATED WIN81PRO PRODUCT KEY. Where are you going to get that Win81Pro  key? Is it going to fall from the sky? Is some philantropist going to knock on your door and give you one? No!!! YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BUY THAT WIN81PRO PRODUCT KEY from somewhere (probably eBay)! 

          5. So in summary, to downgrade from Win10Pro, you are going to have to pay for the original Win10Pro key (step# 1 above), and one more time (step# 4 above) for the Win81Pro key. That, my friends, is simply a rip-off via some slimy legalses of the downgrade paragraph and not a downgrade right in any way whatsoever. You don't need a downgrade right to go out and buy another box of software.

          6. Here's an example of a REAL HONEST, NO BS downgrade right: VMware Player v12 has downgrade rights to v11 (maybe 10, I forget). Say v12 is not for you and you need to run v11. VMware lets you buy the available v12 license, go to their site, input your v12 key, then they give you the v11 key that you need. Now, as expected, your v12 key will not activate. However, your v11 key will activate. Vmware allows you to download the v11 software that you need. Additionally, when you're ready, to move back up to VMware v12,  you go back to the site, surrender your v11 key, and they reactivate your v12 key as desired. This is what a downgrade right is. You buy the software one time, you can downgrade, then upgrade later if needed. It is understood that only one of the keys will activate at any given time. No BS, just normal, commonly accepted IT licensing practice here.

          Did I make it clear now that the Win10Pro downgrade right requires not one, but two Windows license/key PURCHASES? Microsoft makes you buy 2 keys.  The way that I reand the downgrade rights materials, they say nothing about using the Win10Pro product key to activate a Win81Pro installation. Please proove me wrong on this.

          I look forward to continuubg discussion on this important topic.

          Regards . . .


          • 5615

            In reply to bab:

            Okay, I see your dilemma now. From what I've read on other sites, the explanation on Micorsoft's site is incomplete, confusing and, therefore, possibly a bit misleading (unless these other sites are wrong).

            Apparently, to downgrade Windows 10 Pro to Windows 8.1, 8 or 7 using downgrade rights, you will need a product key (and installation media) for the version of Windows you wish to dowgrade to in order to actually install and activate the downgraded OS. From what I've read on other sites, you *can* use the product key from a copy of the OS you already own, even if that OS is currently being used on another device. Most likely, you'll need to activate over the phone since the key will have already been used. This does seem to contradict the "one product key per concurrent OS activation" rule.

            If you don't already have a product key for the version you wish to downgrade to (and can't get one from someone else), then it looks like your only other option would be to purchase a retail copy of the OS in order to get a product key -- which, of course, completely defeats the purpose of having downgrade rights.

            However, I may have completely misunderstood how this works and this could all be wrong. Obviously, the best thing would be to contact your OEM system builder and/or Microsoft directly for clarification.

            • 5786

              In reply to offTheRecord:

              Hi offTheRecord,

              Finally, someone gets this. Whoopie!

              I appreciate your confirmation that I have not lost my ability to understand when legalese is not professionally composed and is simply BS made out of the alphabet instead of organic matter.

              Thank you for your replies.

              Regards . . .


              • 5615

                In reply to bab:

                Yeah, this issue is very strange -- perhaps, intentionally so. What seems to break it is that although you get downgrade rights, apparently you don't actually get a product key for any of the OSes you have the right to downgrade to (you need a product key to actually install and activate the downgraded OS). Thus, you have to provide your own product key.

                It also appears that Microsoft is explicitly allowing you to re-use a product key for an OS even if that OS is currently installed, activated and in use on another PC. This is the part that seems very strange to me, and is why I would suggest contacting the OEM or Microsoft directly to seek clarification.

                Of course, since the downgrade rights don't come with an actual product key for the downgraded OS and if you don't have any way of getting a key from somewhere else, you'll have to actually purchase a copy of the downgraded OS just to get a product key. The "good" news is you'll probably be able to use that same key to downgrade other Windows 10 installs with downgrade rights that you wish to downgrade. :-)

                Assuming I'm understanding this correctly.

                • 5786

                  In reply to offTheRecord:

                  Btw, I did contact MS about this before submitting this thread here in Paul's forum. If you are a MS Partner (I am) and have access to Partner facilities, I could send you a link for that discussion. However . . . I see no way on this forum to PM you  that link.

                  Humm . . .


      • 1321

        In reply to bab:

        If you are prompted for activation and cannot activate over the internet you would call the telephone actvation center and either use the automated system to activate or speak to an advisor who will help you activate.