Consumer reaction towards Windows 8 has been mixed, and that's putting it generously, but are the Windows 7 faithful so dissatisfied with Microsoft's latest operating system they're willing to pay three figures to downgrade their new machines? This photo by Twitter user Michael Jerewitz shows one certified Microsoft service center that saw a demand and rose to the occasion.
Microsoft customers who aren't lucky enough to live near the undisclosed location of this store do have other options for a downgrade. Both HP (opens in new tab)and Lenovo (opens in new tab) offer help via their online forums for customers trying to perform downgrades themselves. Best Buy's Geek Squad will install Windows 7 on a Windows 8 machine at point of purchase for a service fee starting at $69.99, although that doesn't include the price of the Windows 7 software itself. Amazon.com (opens in new tab) sells the complete version of Windows 7 Home Premium for $162 and Windows 7 Ultimate for a cringe-inducing $306. At those prices, users saddled with a new Windows 8 machine might just want to install a Start Menu replacement app designed to emulate Microsoft's older interfaces.
PC buyers completely confident in not wanting Windows 8 would be better off buying a machine pre-installed with Windows 7, which are still readily available from major tech retailers. But for how much longer will that be the case? Windows XP lasted nine years before Microsoft pulled sales of PCs pre-installed with the OS. Vista only got four years. Windows 7 was first made available in October 2009, meaning it's just a little over three years old. Windows 8 haters who are in the market for a new PC might want to make their decisions soon or be left looking for their own "Microsoft Certified" shop with a sale on downgrades.