My brother bought a laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium. He then bought a license for Windows 8 Pro using Anytime Upgrade, and upgraded his laptop. He now wants to go back to Windows 7.

I have a PC with Windows 7 Ultimate. I'd like to upgrade it to Windows 8 Pro.

Now, what we want to do is format his laptop and reinstall Windows 7 Home Premium using his orginal key, then use the Win 8 Pro upgrade key to install Windows 8 over my copy of Win 7 Ultimate...

Is this possible? Will we hit any snags? Is the Anytime Upgrade license valid only for the Windows 7 license it was bought for?

  • You cannot transfer the upgrade licence to your machine, legally. Your last question's answer is "Yes". – user3463 Nov 20 '13 at 20:54
  • @RandolphWest "Upgrade" versions are weird. From what Ms has told us in the past (and it makes sense) is that if you have an OEM Windows, and you apply an "Upgrade" version to it, you've actually upgraded to a "retail" licence, as there's no OEM Upgrade versions. Unlike OEM licenses (for example), this 'upgraded' retail licence is legal to move between computers in the same way a 'full' retail version would be. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 20 '13 at 21:08
  • This is why I only comment and don't answer questions about licencing. – user3463 Nov 20 '13 at 21:10
  • @RandolphWest That's Ok, no-one really understands it fully, I've got 10+ years experience at an MS OEM and I still only understand parts, and I never know if it's still accurate. ;) Really though, I think this question is off-topic, cause it's (primarily?) about legal issues, not computer issues. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 20 '13 at 21:12
  • Well if your answer is correct, the answer to the question is "no" because the 8 upgrade is now part of the other machine. – user3463 Nov 20 '13 at 21:14

"Legally" (IANAL), the Windows 8 upgrade licence REPLACED his Windows 7 Home Premium licence, and so it does not exist anymore. He now has a full "retail" licence to Windows 8 Pro, and can no longer ever use the Windows 7 Home Premium he upgraded from (since it's legally been replaced by Windows 8).

Unlike his OEM Window 7 Home Premium, the his now-full Windows 8 licence will allow it to be moved to another system. But this doesn't free up his Windows 7 Home Premium licence, since it's been replaced by his Windows 8 upgrade, and doesn't exist anymore.


What about upgrading the software? The software covered by this agreement is an upgrade to your existing operating system software, so the upgrade replaces the original software that you are upgrading. You do not retain any rights to the original software after you have upgraded and you may not continue to use it or transfer it in any way.

You can get the license agreements for MS software here:


To keep it legit, he should return his unwanted copy of Windows 8 to MS, cancelling that licence agreement so he can go back to Windows 7 Home. You should then buy Windows 8 yourself -- if your friend still really wants to give you Windows 8, he can just hand you the refund he gets from MS so you can go buy your own. ;)

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