Windows 10 digital license activated without purchasing a license.

tekmouse
tekmouse used Ask the Experts™
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I have several computers that are i3-3220's HP's and they all have the WIndows 8 Pro sticker on them. Some of them are activating with Windows 10 when I apply our Windows 10 image to them and some aren't.
For those that are activating, are they good from now on? Meaning, will I need to buy a license for them or has Microsoft given that digital ID the green light forever?
The activation screen reads, 'Windows is activated with a digital license".

Thank you,
`John
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Robert OrnelasVP Operations at Cook's Computer

Commented:
They will remain valid, when performing an upgrade the windows 7 and 8 keys still work for the free upgrade. I have only ran into a couple that required me to call the phone number or run the troubleshooter to activate.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I agree with the above. You should be good to go. I am not sure why machines are still getting free upgrades but some are.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems Administrator

Commented:
Some of them are activating with Windows 10 when I apply our Windows 10 image to them and some aren't.

those that are were likely purchased with windows 10 but had a downgrade license for 7 or 8 but 10 will still work with the digital license as you see in the activation section.  i'm experiencing this now with our dell systems as we start migrating off windows 7.  some that were purchased with 10 but downgraded to 7 are rebuilding fine with windows 10 while others that didn't say it isn't activated and will just replace the machine because of its age
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
MS holds the licence for windows 10
this means, if MS activates at boot, - you do have a valid licence
tekmouseMgr. of Infra

Author

Commented:
Do we have any documentation to support this? I'd hate to suggest to my company that we're good to go then get hit with a need for licenses down the line because Microsoft updated their licensing server to recognize invalid licenses, forcing users to pay.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
apparently you did not read my post above?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
The upgrade is supported as noted above.  You can always call Microsoft Licensing Support with your license and computer information and they will help you.

Also recognize that some machines from some manufacturers lose the activation sometimes.  It happens.
IT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi John, (tekmouse)

The activation screen reads, 'Windows is activated with a digital license".

The reason your Windows 8 computers are activated is because Microsoft's Activation servers are still respecting the Free Windows 10 upgrade offer which was supposed to (and in fact did) end on July 29, 2016. Whether or not Microsoft will continue to honour the Windows 10 digital licenses that were provided post July of 2016 is a bit of a crap-shoot, but I suspect you have nothing to worry about.

There are still articles on sites like ZDNet that detail ways of still obtaining a free upgrade to Windows 10 to this day by using a valid Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 Pro (or higher) installation key. If Microsoft were really concerned about this happening, articles like the one below would have been taken down long ago.

Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade

I rang Microsoft about this matter myself as I have a few clients in the same boat as you are, but couldn't get a straight answer out of them - only to be told that if the activation servers activate Windows 10, then all "should be" well.

Answers to the questions I posed about guarantees that the future validity of these digital keys would continue were vague and that's where I couldn't get a straight answer out of them. The representative I spoke to would not rule out that Windows update would, or would not, force a payment for digital licenses issued after July 2016 sometime in the future.

So - are you safe and legal, or not? For now you are, but whether you continue to be in the future depends on what Microsoft decide to do. Certainly a legal argument could be formed by MS to justify forcing a payment later on, despite their own activation servers providing valid digital licenses in the first place, but whether or not that will happen is anyone's guess. My feeling is that it won't be a problem, but I can't say for certain, so your guess would be as good as mine.

Sorry I can't give a definite answer to the question, but I couldn't get Microsoft to give one to me either, so it is what it is.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew

Edit: Edited opening to clarify who this response was made to.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Hi John,   The reason your Windows 8 computers are activated …..  is because Microsoft's Activation servers are still respecting the Free Windows 10 upgrade offer

I did not say otherwise, only to call and be sure.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
John - I was actually responding to "tekmouse" and his opening post, who's name happens to also be John - not to yourself :) I've now edited my post to clarify who my response was to.

Regards, Andrew

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