HP clarifies Windows 8 consumer PC downgrade and warranties

HP can't let you downgrade ordinary, consumer Windows 8 PCs to Windows 7. That said, if you do move to Windows 7, or shift to Linux or another operating system, your hardware will still be covered by HP support, just don't expect HP to supply the drivers for any of these alternative operating systems.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
Your warranty is still good with HP if you move from Windows 8 to another operating system.

HP isn't supporting consumer PCs  downgrades from Windows 8 to Windows 7. However, the company has clarified that, if you do change operating systems anyway, your consumer Windows 8 PCs will still be under warranty.

It's been a confusing few days in HP laptop and desktop land. For a brief time, it appeared that HP would support Windows 8 consumer PCs downgrading to Windows 7. Microsoft would not have been amused! Microsoft's official licensing policy restricts Windows 8 downgrades to Windows 8 Pro users.

After I spoke several times with HP, we now know what's what with HP's Windows 8 consumer PCs. HP told me, "HP has updated this post, providing additional information that should clarify this topic for HP customers" and the official HP Windows 8 to Windows 7 downgrade answer is:

Yes, customers can downgrade to Windows 7, but Microsoft has different terms regarding users’ downgrade rights and paths. HP recommends customers check with Microsoft for the terms governing their specific operating system edition.
Customers who are able to and choose to downgrade their HP Windows-8 compatible products to Windows 7 will remain protected by HP product warranties. However, HP has not tested all Windows 8 platforms for Windows 7 and we may not have your particular drivers available. If you choose to install a different operating system (OS) and have a problem that requires HP support, you may need to restore the original OS to fully diagnose your problem. Please check with HP Customer Care for questions related to your specific product.

So the bottom line now is that If you move your consumer HP PC to another operating system, including Linux, Windows 7 or anything else you can get to run with Windows 8's alternative operating system unfriendly UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Secure Boot you will still be covered by HP's warranty. For useful support, however, you'll still need to be ready to switch your PC back to Windows 8.

In addition, HP still won't guarantee that they'll have Windows 7 drivers for its Windows 8 retail/consumer PCs. Since Windows 8 as  an operating system is barely out of the gate, it seems odd to me that HP would no longer offer drivers for what clearly the more popular "modern" version of Windows. Still, it is what it is so don't count on your HP Windows 8 consumer PCs being completely compatible with Windows 7. In short, if you want WIndows 7 on your PC, insist on buyinga computer with Windows 7 already installed. 

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