In case anyone is interested, Windows 10 is still free from Microsoft. I installed it last night on a Windows 7 PC.
Yeah, you can even download directly from Microsoft a legal ISO for installing it on a new drive. So that’s a major change for the New Microsoft. During setup it asks for a registration code, but you can click “I don’t have one” and it continues to work indefinitely. You just can’t customize the desktop/panel appearance, and it shows a watermark in the corner, but it’s not illegal to use it that way. The last time I ran it in that mode (a few years ago) it started showing me full-screen overlay nag screens to register it, which was the most disruptive, I’m not sure if they still do that.
Of course, I personally only need Win10 for a specific task on a VirtualBox machine, and I find it much less limiting to freely install and run Linux on all of my physical machines.
Yes, poorly kept secret. If you have any activated Win7 or newer PC you can upgrade it to Win10 and it will activate. I’ve done this with a number of PC’s. So far, no problems.
Thanks for the reminder. I need to upgrade my home PC. I did previously qualify that it could handle it, but put it off to last possible moment.
I find it easiest to upgrade if you use the Windows Download/Media Creation Tool.
Make a DVD or flash boot disk with it, and use that to upgrade instead of upgrading on line. There is less to go wrong it seems.
I would NOT recommend allowing [updates] while this is going on, makes it take way too long and may further create problems. If already activated you should not need to put in a product key.
It will try to ‘insist’ you need a MS Account. You DO NOT, unless you do, AND WANT to use it. Look for the smaller option down in the corner to bypass that. This creates what is known as a [local account].
You can always use a MS Account later if you care. You can also remove it if you really want to, which is a whole different discussion.
Just a note on this… While it is possible to upgrade and activate a computer with Windows 10 in this manner, the “Free Upgrade” period ended a long time ago. Passing activation doesn’t make it legit, possessing a valid license does.
At this point that means you must have either:
a. upgraded during the free upgrade period
b. purchased a valid Windows 10 license
I am not sure if Microsoft sells an “Upgrade” license for Windows 10 in the retail space as they have done for previous versions. Retail for Windows 10 home is $139 (buy from Microsoft as it is the same price everywhere you can legally buy it and you know this one is legit) and Windows 10 Pro is $199.
You should not purchase an OEM version for an existing computer. You may not transfer an OEM license from one computer to another. VL keys from ebay/etc are not legitimate (though many will activate), so if you were planning to go that route because “ Microsoft”, just use it in evaluation mode or activate it as above.
To get the install disk image, use the media creation tool from Microsoft https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10
With Windows 10, if you have installed it on a computer previously you can typically do a fresh install and select the “I don’t have a key” option (pick the appropriate version for the license you have). Once it boots to Windows and connects to the internet, activation will usually pass.
If you have done the license upgrade (or don’t care about it being legit), you can also use a Windows 7 key during a clean setup and it should activate with that key.
If you go to that page on Linux/Mac you can just download an ISO directly.
On the initial boot, it enters what is called the OOBE (out of box experience) where you set it up with a username and chose some privacy settings. If you are installing Windows 10 Home, it will make you create a Microsoft account if it can detect an internet connection (unplug or turn off your wifi to avoid this). Windows 10 Pro has a way around this (domain join > sign in with a local account instead).
I won’t judge anyone for whatever way they go about doing an upgrade… but if you care to do it in a way that doesn’t violate Microsoft’s license agreement, don’t use the “free upgrade” to make it happen as this has expired. If you aren’t willing to pay for it, but want to upgrade to something safer than Windows 7, check out one of the many free GNU/Linux distros out there (Ubuntu, Mint, Budgie, Elementary OS, Fedora, OpenSUSE, etc).
20 years ago I bought A Windows Pro retail license. By the years, I upgraded to all the main releases using it. Still using the same license on Windows 10 Pro, ofc with a different key.
If it is not legit then why is Microsoft offering it? I don’t quite understand all this.
What they REALLY want is to mine data; like Google, Yahoo, etc. and bombard you with ads.
MS is the ONLY one that can activate your Win 10 OS. If they do it, it’s legal. This is not an accident.
In this case “works” =/= “properly licensed per the agreement”.
In the business world, people often acquire Volume Licensing from Microsoft, which can come with something called a “MAK” (multiple activation key). On one of my accounts, the MAK for a particular Microsoft product has 50 activations available, but I only have one license. I could use the same product key and activate 50 computers if I chose not to honor my license agreement with Microsoft. It would work, but it would open me to consequences should there be an audit performed on my account.
Likewise, someone can buy an old computer with an OEM license and a CoA/Product key sticker on it, then use that Product key and get it to activate… but this is a violation of the agreement because an OEM license does not permit the transfer to a different computer.
Microsoft licensing is fairly complex, but the overwhelming theme is that “Microsoft always gets their money”. Just because you can do something, doesn’t make it “legal” or “within the license agreement”.
Microsoft has left this upgrade/activation method open for their convenience (due to the way activations are handled… it is easier to leave it open), not because they intend for everyone to use it. They are likely not very concerned with the average home user taking advantage of it being open, and they really want everyone to use Windows 10 (for a number of reasons).
The article you reference is not from Microsoft, and I think this statement sums it up: “The end result is an apparently valid digital license” (emphasis added)
Microsoft has more information here:
See in particular this statement from that page: “All upgrades must have completed and reached the ”Welcome” screen by 11:59 PM UTC-10 (Hawaii) on July 29, 2016; this is one worldwide point in time.”
I don’t care to argue the morality of using Windows 10 by upgrading in this fashion, but it is not allowed per the licensing agreement. As far as consequences go, if Microsoft ever “found out” that someone did the upgrade outside of the license agreement they would likely demand that you purchase an appropriate license… so the stakes are low. They are WAY more focused on businesses that infringe with 100’s of licenses than an individuals who broke the rules to get Windows 10 Home for free.
Personally, I’d recommend buying a newer computer with a Windows 10 license over buying a license and upgrading an old one if your current computer is slow at all. Computers from the Windows 7 era are quite a bit behind the latest and greatest. Unless we’re talking about a nice gaming machine that you’ve built/upgraded over the years, you’re usually better off with spending less on the license (OEM licensing that is included with computers typically costs the consumer about $40-90) and more on the hardware by buying a new computer.
I don’t think I really addressed this in my last post… Microsoft isn’t “offering it” so much as they aren’t stopping it.
The TL;DR is that:
- it can be done fairly easily
- it is not allowed under the license agreement from Microsoft
- risk/possible consequences are relatively low if you chose to do this
- upgrading Windows in this fashion comes with very few inconveniences and the result is almost indistinguishable from the proper method (you’d never notice a difference in every day use, but if the computer were audited Microsoft could tell)
I’d say that doing this is about the same amount of “bad” as downloading movies you haven’t purchased or ripping your friends music CD’s to your iTunes library.
Sorry, but for some reason, that just sounds like going to a drug-den and getting free AIDS from a dirty needle.
I ran Ubuntu a few yrs ago and had trouble with CADCAM software. So I partitioned the hard drive, dual booted Ubuntu first or primary drive, and then loaded Windows 7 to load the cad on. I never could understand how to get support from linux.
Just installed Windows 10 (fresh install) for someone a few days ago and it activated fine with the original Windows 7 key.
Don’t sugar coat it . How do you really feel about MS?
Nah, I don’t wanna get banned.
I tolerated XP, later even got to… like it?, in that I managed to beat it into submission that it didn’t constantly piss me off. At the very least, it didn’t much get in my way.
Was forced almost at gunpoint to switch to 7 (at work), and it got in my way. All. The. Time. Even like little stoopit things like renaming a file.
8 got worse.
10 was/is worst of all.
Now it insists on “updating” and rebooting the machine even when I’m in the middle of something, making me babysit it else it’d insist again an hour or so later. Again. And. Again. F’n thing doesn’t take “no!!!” for an answer. So I go away for just a little too long, and I come back to find the login screen, as it trashed everything I had all set up and running.
No more scrolling down with arrow-keys (eg, setup/config), nooooooooooo, now you have to use the mouse like some trained ape and drag down on a scrollbar, which those geniuses at Redmond decided to make about 3px wide, and light-gray-on-white.
Like “details”? Good luck having one too many .mp3s or .mkvs (or .htm, or .jpg, or anything), because now it switches to “tiles” or some other idiocy. Sort order? Again, what you reset over and over and over again, the f’n OS thinks it knows better’n you do and sorts the way it wants to.
Oh, and no more keyboard shortcuts like alt-VOT to sort by filetype, alt-VD for details, etc. That’d be too easy. Now, again, you gotta click on the option in the “ribbon” or what the Hell ever it’s called, to click the one you want like some visually-oriented monkey.
Oh, I can go on and on how Winduhs is malware, but…
I knew there was a reason I kept 7 till the last minute. Thankfully I don’t work on a computer daily so I am blissfully ignorant. What do you feel about Chromebook, I picked up a cheapy when I thought my PC was kaput. Haven’t used it much yet though. Seems ok as far as I can tell if you don’t mind Google up your butt waay far.
Windows 10 isn’t all that bad… as an admin I see fewer issues from departments that are running it than from those still on 7. 7 was awesome in its prime, and it has passed the torch on to 10. Search is greatly improved, and I recommend using it as a shortcut around the GUI. Just press the Windows key, start typing, and it’ll usually find what you want in short order (anything from finding a document to changing power settings).
Chromebooks are great if everything you do is on the internet. They stay up to date and usually have decent battery life. If you need to do more intensive tasks like photo editing or something requiring a specific program they can be less useful.
The newer ones allow you to run many Android apps and also some of the standard things you find in most linux distros. I’ve got a developer cousin that uses one as his main computer and he really likes it.
This is Micro$soft being reactionary to the forthcoming Chinese-developed desktop operating system. The monopolies on tech are feeling the squeeze.
W10 is Genisys in drag.