As we continue to expand our business by selling touch screen tablets to the hospitality channel, including hotels, restaurants and casinos, we continue to receive requests for tablets downgraded to Windows XP. The primary reason for this is that many of the legacy and most popular Property Management and Point of Sale software systems were written for the Windows XP operating system and are not compatible with Windows 7.
Up until now we have been able to provide and ship systems licensed with Windows 7 Professional along with recovery media to downgrade to Windows XP. However, because Windows 7 has been so successful, Microsoft has decided that it is finally time to put their eight year old operating system to bed.
As of October 22, 2010, and per our licensing agreement with Microsoft, we will no longer be able to ship systems downgraded with Windows XP or provide Windows XP Restore Media for the purpose of downgrading.
So what’s a hotel, restaurant or casino to do if you need new hardware after October 22, 2010, but are just not yet ready to make the switch to a new OS?
The good news is that after October 22, customers will still be able to downgrade to Windows XP, but we can’t do it for them. In order to obtain the downgrade, they will have to contact Microsoft directly and provide them with the following key items:
1) an existing physical copy of the Windows XP installation media
2) Their new order invoice along with the license number/product key code listed on the Windows 7 COA sticker.
The other option that many companies are choosing for enterprise use is to run a Windows Embedded POSReady (which is basically an enterprise version of XP Pro which maintains UPOS and POS for .NET standards.) Important to note that the POSReady license can only be used for “Point of Service”, and may not be used for general or consumer use.
So in order to get a better handle of where the industry is heading, I’m curious to hear if your systems are set up to run on Windows 7 or are you a Windows XP holdout. Looking forward to feedback.