Helping a non-profit get a machine from Win 10 home to Win 10 Pro cost effectively. Advice?

We are helping out a non-profit organization that does have an account with

On their own, someone their bought a computer that came with Windows 10 Home. It was cheaper than the machine we spec'd for them.

If I am not mistaken, that won't play well in their SBS Essentials domain, right?

So I'd like to=need get it to Windows 10 Pro?

Shouldn't be that hard? I go to tech soup. The Microsoft Windows OS upgrade is $16. this is Win 10 Enterprise. But wait,
You cannot upgrade from any Home edition of Windows.
Some more looking and I see Windows Pro Full Operating System – Get Genuine for $9. A lower price! I put that in the cart, go to check out and see this:

I understand that my organization may never place another request for Get Genuine full Windows operating systems after we have received the licenses we are requesting now.

I don't want to get 1 license and lock them out of using this solution if this happens again.   Would people here

1) suggest buying a bunch of these get genuine license and stockpile them on the chance they will needed down the road?
2) Do we buy a retail copy of win 10 pro outside of tech soup for something like $150?
3) Am I mistaken and Win 10 home computers can work with the SBS Essentials domain fine?
4) Something else I am missing?

It would seem that buying a home os when pro was needed can't be all that uncommon amongst small businesses and organizations trying to take care of their own IT needs.  There isn't a more cost effective path to getting Pro on a Windows Home PC than buying full Pro at retail (since it is a 1 off situation so licensing and 5 item minimum isn't viable?)
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
In this instance  I'd buy full retail.  Techs up also has restrictions in product types and counts over two year periods. They chose to buy a machine on their own. It may have been less expensive, and now they are paying for that mistake on the back end. I wouldn't contort myself finding licensing loopholes. Not to be vindictive, but just to avoid the unintended consequences of trying to game a system. Next time maybe they'll buy the systems you spec.
Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
A couple of observations:

someone ... bought a computer that came with Windows 10 Home.

When I was doing some work for a non-profit, we often found a lot of donated hardware ended up costing quite a bit because of this stuff.  The people were well-meaning, but I feel your pain.

If I am not mistaken, that won't play well in their SBS Essentials domain, right?

You're correct.  Home Edition can't join a domain.  You need Pro.

You can either buy a full retail version - and hopefully, that saves them money still over what you had originally spec'd out.

Or, you can look into converting them to an Open License model.  Microsoft has had some pretty amazing discounts for non-profits in the past.  I'm not sure what that looks like today.

However, some companies are now forcing non-profits to sign agreements which include "diversity" language which might not be in line with the non-profit's values.  For example, requiring non-discriminatory hiring practices for sexual orientation or religion when the non-profit is a religious organization.  You need to make sure your organization is aware of that kind of stuff.

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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
cliff - at first I thought the get genuine licenses were really intended for bootleg installs, and getting that for a legit win 10 home wasn't what they intended,  but actually, on the page for the software on techsoup

it calls out most all the old versions of windows! (is this the loophole you refer to? Using the get genuine for other than its intended use?)

The Home edition of Windows 10
The Standard edition of Windows 8 or 8.1
Home Premium, Home Basic, or Starter editions of Windows 7 or Windows Vista
Home or Starter editions of Windows XP
Linux, FreeDOS, or other operating system

or any other OS to get you into the MS family.  Nice, BUT they only let you make a single buy of get genuine licenses.

So I guess for the cost of 1 retail full version, they can afford to buy a dozen + extra get genuine licenses now to bank on the chance they'll get donated machines or make incorrect buys <g> again.
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Alexandre MichelManager; IT ConsultantCommented:
Microsoft has a Non-Profit channel . See
 You might be able to get software you need cheaper from there
Gary PattersonVP Technology / Senior Consultant Commented:
Microsoft has a software and services donation program for qualified non-profits, administered by  One of our non-profit clients gets free Azure and Office365 subscriptions.  Not sure about Win 10 licenses, but it is on the list of products available for discount or donation through  If you aren't already registered, you can apply here:
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Gary - yes, we're already working with tech soup.

Waiting to hear from them, but I think they will buy a bunch of get  genuine licenses to solve this computer's issue... and to keep their options open for later. Just have to see how many they want to get.
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