Being wary of downgrade costs


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Windows 8 is currently being shipped by all major computer manufacturers as the default operating system of choice on most systems. Some computer shops, including Microsoft certified stores and repair shops (many of them Mom & Pop - Short Circuit 2 looking places), are offering to downgrade all of your data for a large sum. Indeed, even local IT companies, as well as large ones may offer this service. Before you decide you want to abandon all hope for Windows 8, just remember what you are doing for the possibility of a future upgrade:

  • Windows 8 is part of the upgrade path. An upgrade to the next version of Windows, in a few years, will not be made easier at all if Windows 7 is still installed. It may become an impossible goal without a clean install.
  • While Windows 7 still enjoys mainstream success and mainstream support, in a few years, you may see that support wane. It is unlikely, due to the similarity between the two systems. However, you need to take a look at your options for driver support in the future, especially from smaller companies that make peripherals. If there is a driver you depend on, and the peripheral was made for Windows 8, and not Windows 7, do not expect backwards compatible drivers, necessarilly. While many Windows 8 drivers can work in Windows 7, this may not be true in the future.
  • If the cost to downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7 is more than $200 USD (please convert into local currency if you are in other places), you are being ripped off! With the release of Windows 8, we should see the price of Windows 7 slowly go down. The computer shop may say that the price is for maintenance and for moving your data over, which may be a fair argument, but Windows 8 is currently offered as a $30 USD upgrade. This upgrade will end soon, and the price of Windows 8 is likely to skyrocket. So if you will need to return to Windows 8, or upgrade to it in the future, be aware you are paying $200 USD or more to go back, and not forward. Any retroactive investment such as this, especially in information technology, is usually a bad idea, no matter how much dislike you have for the OS.
  • Something big will happen soon. The marketplace is still divergent about Windows 8, much like it was with Windows Vista. The hardware needed to make the most out of Windows 8 on a workstation or desktop PC, like Kinect for Windows, is still in a developmental stage. All sorts of new human interface devices (HUDs) are being fast tracked as a result of Windows 8. This is similar to the way Windows Vista threw the graphics and processor market into a frenzy of activity. You need to be aware that the rig you are on simply isn't ready to take advantage of all of the features of Windows 8 - or possibly even Windows 9 (Windows Blue?)

So while not all downgrade services are bad, just make sure you are not being ripped off, especially if you have very little data (and only documents like Word Files or PDFs) on your computer.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.