So, I have Windows 7 pro, and I'm looking to upgrade so that I can use some of the apps that are only available in Windows 8+. I considered just taking advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade, and actually installed it at one point, but then I found out that there's forced automatic updates and decided that wasn't for me(I'm a bit paranoid after Android 4.4.4 killed Flash Player without telling me. :P). So, I did some research.
From what I read, the Windows 10 upgrade "consumes" your Windows 7 license into a Windows 10 license, and so even if you revert back after upgrading then you can still change your mind later and jump back to Windows 10. (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-win_upgrade/windows-10-downgrade-rights/58e29e48-c1bf-456d-bd9f-c8917d9fb2a1)
I also read that Windows 10 has "downgrade" rights to Windows 8 and Windows 7, which to my understanding meant that if you have a Windows 10 key, you can also use it to install Windows 8 or 7 if you want. (https://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/downgrade_rights.aspx#fbid=Ci8rIKPyuSa)
My plan for the process is re-upgrade to 10, pull the license key, downgrade to 8 and use the license key, then upgrade to 8.1 via Windows Store, and end up on 8.1. So my questions are: Is this possible? Will it wipe all my data in the process?(not a dealbreaker if it does, but I'd need to know that so I can back it up) Do I need to re-upgrade to 10 in order to downgrade to 8? Any input is definitely appreciated. Thanks!