Downgrade Rights for Microsoft Volume Licensing

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Volume Licensing brief

Downgrade rights for Microsoft Volume Licensing, OEM, and full-package product licenses This brief applies to all Microsoft Volume Licensing programs.

Table of Contents
Summary .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1 What’s New in this Brief ..................................................................................................................................................................... 1 Details ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1 Frequently Asked Questions ............................................................................................................................................................ 3

Summary
This licensing brief helps explain the downgrade rights for the most commonly acquired systems License Terms granted by Microsoft Volume Licensing programs and how they compare with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and retail fullpackage product (FPP) license rights.

What’s New in this Brief?
This brief replaces a previous version published in February 2011. Significant changes in this brief include updates to reflect Windows 8.

Details
Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements include references to specific rights to use any prior versions of Microsoft licensed software. These rights are often referred to as “downgrade rights.” Microsoft distinguishes between the term “version” and “edition” when referring to product licenses. The term “edition” means different functional offerings within a product family that are usually released simultaneously (for example, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 and Microsoft Office Standard 2010). The term “version” refers to different generations of a product family. Downgrade rights between the current generation (N), the prior generation (N-1), and the generation prior to that (N-2) are limited to the same functional editions within each version (for example, Windows 8 Enterprise downgrades to Windows 7 Enterprise). For more information about access to prior product versions, please see the Fulfillment information section of the Microsoft.com/Licensing site at http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/existingcustomers/fulfillment.aspx. The following table compares Volume Licensing downgrade rights with those provided under OEM and retail (FPP) licenses.

September 2012

1

Downgrade rights
Downgrade rights by product pool for licenses acquired through Volume Licensing, OEM, and FPP Software License Agreement Type Volume Licensing Programs

Application Software
Downgrade rights are granted with all application software licenses acquired through the Volume Licensing programs. Please refer to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Product List for current information about which OEM applications qualify for enrollment in Software Assurance within 90 days from the date the licenses are acquired.

System Software
Downgrade rights are granted with all system software licenses acquired through the Volume Licensing programs. Please refer to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Product List for current information about which retail and OEM applications qualify for enrollment in Software Assurance within 90 days from the date the licenses are acquired. Downgrade rights are granted for any license enrolled in Software Assurance. Please refer to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Product List for current information about which retail and OEM System Software qualify for enrollment in Software Assurance within 90 days from the date you acquired the licenses. Rights to OEM versions of system software are granted in the OEM License Terms. The OEM License Terms for Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7...
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