Last Minute Misconception Busting about Windows 10 Upgrade

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Microsoft

Make Sure You Understand Before the Deadline

I'm fairly sure that any of our readers who want Windows 10 have already gone through the process to get it, and the rest have made it their mission to block it at all costs (or they don't use Windows).

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Regardless, there has been quite a bit of misunderstanding over the last couple of years, so it's better to explain it now than a week from now. Upgrading to Windows 10 will not destroy your original Windows 7 or Windows 8.x license. What you are doing is using that license to register your machine with Windows 10, which Microsoft will create a digital entitlement for. That digital entitlement will be good “for the supported lifetime of the Windows 10-enabled device”.

There's three misconceptions that kept recurring from the above paragraph.

First, “the supported lifetime of the Windows 10-enabled device” doesn't mean that Microsoft will deactivate Windows 10 on you. Instead, it apparently means that Microsoft will continue to update Windows 10, and require that users will keep the OS somewhat up to date (especially the Home edition). If an old or weird piece of hardware or software in your device becomes incompatible with that update, even if it is critical for the device to function, then Microsoft is allowing itself to shrug and say “that sucks”. There's plenty of room for legitimate complaints about this, and Microsoft's recent pattern of weakened QA and support, but the specific complaint that Microsoft is just trying to charge you down the line? False.

Second, even though I already stated it earlier in this post, I want to be clear: you can still go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.x. Microsoft is granting the Windows 10 license for the Windows 7 or Windows 8.x device in addition to the original Windows 7 or Windows 8.x license granted to it. The upgrade process even leaves the old OS on your drive for a month, allowing the user to roll back through a recovery process. I've heard people say that, occasionally, this process can screw a few things up. It's a good idea to manage your own backup before upgrading, and/or plan on re-installing Windows 7 or 8.x the old fashioned way.

This brings us to the third misconception: you can re-install Windows 10 later!

If you upgrade to Windows 10, decide that you're better with Windows 7 or 8.x for a while, but decide to upgrade again in a few years, then your machine (assuming the hardware didn't change enough to look like a new device) will still use that Windows 10 entitlement that was granted to you on your first, free upgrade. You will need to download the current Windows 10 image from Microsoft's website, but, when you install it, you should be able to just input an empty license key (if they still ask for it by that point) and Windows 10 will pull down validation from your old activation.

If you have decided to avoid Windows 10, but based that decision on the above three, incorrect points? You now have the tools to make an informed decision before time runs out. Upgrading to Windows 10 (Update (immediate): waiting until it verifies that it successfully activated!) and rolling back is annoying, and it could be a hassle if it doesn't go cleanly (or your go super-safe and back-up ahead of time), but it might save you some money in the future.

On the other hand, if you don't want Windows 10, and never want Windows 10, then Microsoft will apparently stop asking Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users starting on the 29th, give or take.

July 23, 2016 | 05:57 PM - Posted by Technolucas (not verified)

Thanks for the info!

July 23, 2016 | 06:09 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

You're welcome!

July 23, 2016 | 09:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Stop that Scott! You Know that the windows 10 EULA allows M$ to claim any thing now, and do its will later on at ANY TIME. That EULA gives M$ too much control over the user's hardware and privacy, and too much rights to the users files, and other personal metrics! The EULA gives M$ the Rights to remove its applications at will and to change its services and charge fees at any time. Users can even have their own downloaded applications removed, and there can never be any trusted assurances from M$ about any future plans with regards to windows 10. M$ does not need to charge for the OS, but M$ can redefine what the base OS becomes and charge for anything above what M$ decides its base OS will provide and what M$’s miminal “Free” OS services should be. M$ can at any time deprecate the desktop application ecosystem and force a UWP compliance, and the EULA gives M$ the rights to do so.

M$ can easily render its base OS configuration practically useless and still follow the wording/promises that M$ currently is claiming. Effectively windows 10 is a Cable Box type of arrangement implemented in software and called an OS, and rates and subscriptions can be charged for anything above what M$ decides is not included in the Base OS configuration that M$ can change at any time that it sees fit to do so. M$ can use the indefinite and nebulously defined promises of “for the supported life of the device” to amount to very little in the way of what M$ can and will decide to be included in M$’s definition of the Basic windows 10 OS, and that EULA for windows 10 allows for too much take from M$ with little to no give for the end users of windows 10.

M$ will never reach that 1 billion OS devices, but it does not need to do so with sufficient numbers of people locked into its cable box OS. M$ only needs to have an Apple level of OS market share to extract Apple levels of profits from its windows 10 indentured customer base! Plenty of things are “Free” but the cost structure can be added later once the lock-in happens. Remember all Cable Boxes come with a basic level of functionality but without the customer in complete control by their agreeing to the window 10 EULA terms the user is at the mercy on the supplier of the OS.

July 23, 2016 | 09:35 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah. I'd be much happier if we all converged on a free, as in both beer and speech, open-source OS. I'm a big fan of art and free expression. That said, I want to focus complaints on valid issues, and dispel misconceptions.

July 24, 2016 | 12:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is no misconceptions with regards to not trusting any monopoly interest, and M$ is a monopoly OS interest in the PC/Laptop market. And that windows 10 EULA effectively negates anything M$ states about its "Free" OS when the entire market knows M$ intends to move a cloud and services oriented business model. This is M$’s attempt to diverge from the selling of an OS license to the charging for serveries above that functionality that is the supplied by the minimal “Free” OS! And that “Free” OS base functionality as defined by M$ is subject to M$’s amended definition of that provided “Free” OS functionality at any time by M$ with the end user giving up all rights to decide what is installed on that OS/user's hardware, and what the user may be permitted to install subject to the windows 10 EULA. The EULA also give M$ the rights to harvest personal “metrics” information, and sell that information to any and all who can pay for M$’s gathered personal “metrics” with which to push out ad content to the windows 10 OS end user. The Forced Update system that M$ employes for windows 10 can and does turn back on any telemetry information gathering functionality that the user may have turned off and it gives M$ the rights to modify any of the OS’s services to re-enable the services and to create bloatware/spyware that is unremovable by the end user. Windows 10 is the very definition of a cable box implemented in software that provides the minimal “Free” functionality as defined by the EULA, with M$ able to modify and redefine what the definition of that minimal “Free” OS is at M$’s will.

The “free” OS(de facto cable box implemented in software) will always be “Free” but subject to M$’s ultimate definition of what the “Free” base OS functionality is and what “Free” base OS functionality M$ may provide in the Future is totally at M$’s discretion with the end user giving up any rights by agreeing to the EULA.

July 25, 2016 | 03:28 PM - Posted by ppi (not verified)

Being paranoid does not mean they are not out there to get you.

July 25, 2016 | 05:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Where M$ is concerned there is no level paranoia that could not be considered justifiable, including the standing on the corner with hands flailing widely and speaking in tongues kind of paranoia!

Oh look dear there's a mad man on the corner, but he just mentioned M$ among his babbling, we better pay heed to his advise! That M$ can never be Trusted!

July 25, 2016 | 10:32 AM - Posted by sixstringrick

Hey Anonymous, you do realize that those EULAs are pretty much the same for Apple, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Netfilx, and your last will and testament. Just shut up and enjoy watching movies for free online, downloading all that porn, or trying to get that old TV Tuner working and then you realize that Windows 10 doesn't come with Windows Media Center.

July 25, 2016 | 11:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And I do not use Apple's , Google's, etc. OS and PC/laptop/netbook products, and again M$ has a Monopoly on the OS that is used by the majority of third party OEM produced PC/Laptops, so I'm not talking about tablet/phone OSs! And Apple/Google/others are not trying to force their closed OS ecosystem onto the entire third party OEM PC/Laptop market and the OEMs’ PC/laptop end users by extension. That windows 10 EULA is the most reaching in what it demands the OS user to give up in the way of privacy and control over the user's very own PC/laptop hardware. This is M$'s monopolistic attempt at forcing an illegal vertical market integrating scheme over the Independent Third party OEM PC/laptop market via its windows 10 OS/API closed ecosystem. Just you go and research the history of antitrust laws and regulations on the books and see that what M$ is attempting with the third part PC/Laptop OEMs is the dictionary definition of an antitrust violation.

I can easily avoid Apple’s and Google’s OS ecosystems by not purchasing any of their PC/laptop hardware, but M$ has that scheme to take over the third party OEM PC/Laptop hardware that M$ does not even manufacture or brand. The bundling of windows 10 on any new PC/laptop hardware needs to be regulated and the OEMs forced to provide the driver disks for their OEM specific hardware to the PC/Laptop end users so users can install their OS of choice(Linux/other OS drivers). M$’s windows 10 UEFI secure boot software/firmware apparatus needs to be regulated so M$ can not lock down any third party PC/Laptop hardware to M$’s closed OS/API ecosystem. That M$ windows secure boot “Option” for the OEM’s to not provide any [OFF] switch mechanism in the OEM’s UEFI firmware for M$’s windows secure boot on new OEM produced PCs/Laptops that come with windows 10 factory installed needs to be regulated, least the New third party OEM produced PC/Laptop hardware become bound to M$’s closed OS ecosystem.

July 25, 2016 | 01:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Different Anonymous than the one you're responding to, but I just wanted to point this out:

Google, Yahoo, and Amazon (the only three services of your list that I happen to avail myself of) do not include a clause in their EULA that grants them the ability to remotely inspect my computer, determine what hardware or software they think is "authorized", and immediately disable the hardware or software that they have deemed "unauthorized" without any notification or option for recourse.

July 25, 2016 | 05:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Apart from "Apple", Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Netfilx are services, not your core OS. This is one the most commonly used argument by people, but its incorrect. its like comparing AC in your car with the engine.

July 26, 2016 | 11:51 AM - Posted by Dr. Poop (not verified)

There's a Win10 Media Center hack out there, extremely easy to install... google it. I've got it back with a Kodi launcher. Just need to tweak my MCE controller to fire up Media Center with the big Green button. For now I'm telling Cortana to open Media Center.

July 23, 2016 | 06:40 PM - Posted by anon (not verified)

Are you sure that you don't lose the win 7 key? Or do you mean that you don't lose it for that period of 30 days that you can go back?

Let me explain with an example. I upgrade my win 7 key to win 10 I use win10 for 1 year, and thn after 1 year I decide that I want to go back to 7. Can I do that? Is my key valid for a new win 7 installation? after a year using that key with win10?

July 23, 2016 | 06:55 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

You can use the "media creation tool" for Windows 7 or Windows 8.x to go back via clean install with your original key (source). Windows 10 does not invalidate your original license.

July 23, 2016 | 06:53 PM - Posted by V10R37

Why 8.x? It's 8.1. There is no 8.2 or any other 8 (unless I missed something) and from 8 you need to upgrade to 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10 (I never heard anything about Microsoft changing this requirement).

July 23, 2016 | 07:30 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Since the 1511 November Update, you can install clean-install Windows 10 using a Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 key.
It will grant you a Windows 10 digital entitlement.

July 24, 2016 | 09:14 AM - Posted by V10R37

So I was wrong. I did not pay much attention to Windows 10 after it broke multiple times on my PC. Old hardware with no official compatibility.

July 23, 2016 | 06:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What I have never got a straight answer on regards the upgrading of retail licenses. Retail copies of Win 7/8 allow the installation on any hardware. If you buy new hardware you can install the license provided you remove it from the old machine.

Microsoft has told me that upgrading my retail licenses to Win 10 results in a retail license. But they have also said that license is tied to the machine on which the upgrade is done.

This seems completely contradictory. As I always build my own machines I don't want a license tied to a machine.

Could you please clarify this?

July 23, 2016 | 07:03 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

As far as I know, and I'm not a Microsoft spokesperson, the Windows 10 license will be tied to that machine. That is how I understand Windows 10 retail licenses to work now, which is different from previous Windows licenses.

Your original Windows 7/8 license shouldn't change, though. I'm pretty sure that, if you want to change machines, you can install Windows 7 or 8 on it if you decommission the upgraded Windows 10 machine. Pretty sure you cannot then upgrade that machine to Windows 10 using this offer, but, I mean, that ends in a week anyway.

So yeah, if you replace the upgraded Windows 10 machine, I'm pretty sure you will need to either use Windows 7/8/8.1 on it via your retail license, or buy a Windows 10 license.

July 23, 2016 | 11:13 PM - Posted by hechacker1 (not verified)

I recently upgraded my motherboard, cpu, ram, basically everything but the GPU and hard drive.

I did not reinstall windows on the new hardware. I simply booted up Windows 10 with the new hardware and it went perfectly fine after installing new drivers.

However, my license was invalidated on the new hardware. I simply found my original $30 Windows 8.0 license and input it into the "change my key" option. And Windows 10 then activated just fine on the new hardware.

I'm not sure if I was lucky, or that was intended by microsoft.

July 24, 2016 | 06:01 AM - Posted by Drteeth (not verified)

Yep, that's exactly how it works, so long as you have a retail licence. You can pull the drive out of one machine, pop it in another, re-enter your key, and you're good to go. You don't even have to call a silly activation hotline.

July 24, 2016 | 06:01 AM - Posted by Drteeth (not verified)

Yep, that's exactly how it works, so long as you have a retail licence. You can pull the drive out of one machine, pop it in another, re-enter your key, and you're good to go. You don't even have to call a silly activation hotline.

July 24, 2016 | 05:20 PM - Posted by Axle Grease

It is good to have it confirmed. Before Win 10 came out I upgraded Win 8.1 Home retail to Win 8.1 Pro retail. I'm now running Win 10 Pro. When I build a new PC I can transfer Win 10 Pro to it and activate the OS with the Win 8.1 Pro product key.

July 24, 2016 | 01:49 AM - Posted by alucard (not verified)

According to Windows 10 EULA ( Section 4 B,

Stand-alone software. If you acquired the software as stand-alone software (and also if you upgraded from software you acquired as stand-alone software), you may transfer the software to another device that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software to a device owned by someone else if (i) you are the first licensed user of the software and (ii) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Every time you transfer the software to a new device, you must remove the software from the prior device. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between devices.

So, according to their own EULA, if you upgraded from retail 7/8, then you DO get full retail Windows 10 and transfer rights. Whether they'll honor this or not is anyone's guess.

July 24, 2016 | 02:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

From my understanding if you changed the hardware enough to need reactivation with a retail license you'd need to contact Microsoft, so while upgrading a retail licenses to Win 10 results in a retail license if you wanted to reinstall it on another machine you'd need Microsoft reactivate it on different hardware.

July 23, 2016 | 08:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So here is a quick question. My mobo has been acting up on me and I just ordered a replacement. So, from what I have been hearing, my copy of Win 10 pro (upgraded from a retail Windows 8 a few months ag), will not carry over because of the new hardware and I will need to buy a new Windows 10. Is that correct?

July 23, 2016 | 08:40 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

No idea. According to Paul Thurrott, the digital entitlement is made up of an id on your CPU, an id on your motherboard, and an id in your TPM module if you have one.

It might be possible that a motherboard replacement, keeping the same CPU, might be close enough that activation will give it a pass. If not, definitely try calling Microsoft and explaining your situation before buying another Windows license.

July 23, 2016 | 10:40 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

After having to use a windows crack in order to 'validate' my copy of Windows 8 that I legitimately bought as part of the 7->8 upgrade program I won't trust Microsoft to do anything other than screw me again through any of their special offers.

July 24, 2016 | 12:33 AM - Posted by Josephine (not verified)

I will be changing my hard drive shortly. Would my Windows 10 license be intact or would I have to "upgrade" again?

July 24, 2016 | 12:53 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Should be fine. I've read that it checks CPU, motherboard, and, if it exists, TPM module.

July 24, 2016 | 01:30 AM - Posted by alucard (not verified)

Are you sure this info is up-to-date?
Upcoming update to Windows 10 can apparently tie the license to your Microsoft account, not the hardware signature

meaning that "lifetime of the Windows 10-enabled device" bit is no longer true.

July 24, 2016 | 04:04 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

This is as up-to-date as Microsoft's Windows 10 Upgrade site (see footnote 1).
They are providing a tool in August (after the upgrade program) to make it easier to fix activation issues, but they're not retroactively restricting users.

July 24, 2016 | 01:52 AM - Posted by odizzido (not verified)

I only want win10 for games, and my current CPU is slow enough that I've not gotten any new ones. If my win10 licence is only good for my current mobo/cpu then switching to W10 will be completely pointless for me.

July 24, 2016 | 04:58 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

1. Windows 7 Ultimate x64 bit SP1.
2. GWX.
3. ?????


July 24, 2016 | 09:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Did an upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 10 (and 8 was originality an upgrade from 7), then swapped motherboard & CPU immediately after activation. Did not need to re-activate 10 on the new motherboard. Windows 10 can store the activation entitlement in a Microsoft account if you are signed in with one, so the hardware has may only come into play if you are using a local-only account.

July 24, 2016 | 09:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nice to see Pcper is covering the latest developments in malware

July 24, 2016 | 01:09 PM - Posted by Butthurt Beluga


July 24, 2016 | 08:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is that the beginning of a new serie of articles? What is coming next? Being exposed to radiations or having unprotected sex with 10 prostitutes is good for you???


July 24, 2016 | 01:47 PM - Posted by remc86007

Not on topic, but I thought I'd let people know: if you are on the current fast ring insider build, you can now successfully "permanently stop" insider builds and presumably be back on the production cycle.

I know I've been looking forward to being able to do this without a reinstall for a while, and it's finally here. I'm guessing this will only work for a short window after the Anniversary update is pushed to production.

July 24, 2016 | 03:59 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

So I still believe Microsoft has created a giant cluster f***. How many millions of computers out there have the GWX pop up on them, and people have just ignored it. How does Microsoft intend to remove it all? It could be years before the GWX is removed from machines that never get updated properly, or have all kinds of other issues. Also, what about the people who have kept putting it off, then decide after July 29th they want to upgrade to 10. Is Microsoft going to flash on their screen "Sorry sucker, you have buy 10 from us now!"

July 24, 2016 | 04:05 PM - Posted by pdjblum

So many folks use windows just for its gaming prowess. Will Vulcan help Linux to sooner than later become a gaming platform on par with windows? No one seems to be able to explain exactly what makes windows a great gaming platform beyond it having DiretX, but from what I have read, it seems there is much more to it. Scott, any chance pcper can get a panel of experts to give us a clear picture of what it will take for linux to become a true gaming platform?

Thanks for the this post. It still seems like a bit of a crap shoot as far as new hardware and re-installation goes and it is still a bit abstruse, but I greatly appreciate your trying to clear things up as best you can.

July 24, 2016 | 06:50 PM - Posted by remc86007

I think it is as simple as hardware and software support providing massive inertia for Windows combined with highly optimized code. An article on it would be nice though.

July 26, 2016 | 12:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No massive inertia for windows 10, they had to resort to underhanded tactics to get it on some folks PCs/Laptops. The Vulkan graphics API will have the most cross platform/cross OS support, while DX12 will be limited to that windows 10 dungeon. Enjoy all the forcing of red hot forced updates up your nether regions, and the spyware, bloatware, and adware right in the OS that is not removable by those incarcerated by agreeing to the windows 10 EULA! You have given up your freedom for the M$ ”Free” you will now serve you masters in Redmond. Now bend over for the latest forcing! Get your lubrication at an extra extra cost from the M$ store!

July 24, 2016 | 08:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Vulkan, if it gets widespread use, should be a large help to Linux, as directx is by far the main obstacle to games being multiplatform. The other big issue with Linux gaming is that drivers (mostly graphics drivers) just aren't as good as on windows.

August 12, 2016 | 09:34 AM - Posted by cjstevenson

Ultimately, for any operating system to replace Windows, it have to be a lot better, otherwise not enough people will switch to matter.

Also, there's the perception that Linux is for experts, for people that are willing to invest time and effort into understanding how the operating system works. Most computer users are not experts...

July 24, 2016 | 07:23 PM - Posted by DaveSimonH

So my retail key of w7 home wasn't invalidated when I used it to do a clean install of w10, OK. I had assumed, in part due to the clouded messaging, that it had converted full w7 key to essentially an OEM w10 key, tied to my motherboard.
But I'm guessing I couldn't then use the key to install w7 to another machine? Unless I wiped w10 from main PC.

July 24, 2016 | 10:23 PM - Posted by remc86007

I'm pretty sure the new EULA that you agreed to upon upgrading would prevent that.

July 25, 2016 | 05:46 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

From my understanding. You can use either Win 7 or Win 10 with your Windows 7 key, but not both at the same time. Since you have a retail Windows 7 key, you should be able to install Windows 10 on any (but only one at a time) machine using that key.

July 25, 2016 | 11:53 AM - Posted by Petey poops (not verified)

Thank MS, but no thanks. mainly a Mac user, but was dig'n win 7. Not happy with Apple or MS atm.. Just took the dive to Linux Mint w/cin. SO what I don't get some cherry topping crap app on top of crap apps on a crap store. But G Damnit it I need some pro class Audio/Vidio support... I'd Gladly pay premium $$$ for with good dev support!. F Apple + F Microsoft = bye bye.

July 26, 2016 | 06:55 AM - Posted by MR SHEHZAAN M ABDULLA (not verified)

I wouldn't consider rolling back to Win 7 viable TBH. I've done it with two machines and they broke to varying degrees because unlike when it moves forward to Win 10 (and secures drivers and such for you) when it rolls back it doesn't bother.

On top of that my IME support went haywire and a load of other issues started cropping up... In the end I formatting my boot drive and reinstalled Windows from scratch. Not an ordeal I want to go through again.

July 26, 2016 | 10:07 AM - Posted by Gdańsk (not verified)

I think it is all lies! People should never upgrade to Windows 10 because it makes computers unusable. It changes everything what is good in Windows 7 (I on purpose omit Windows 8 and 8.1 - it was poor crap)
My point is Micro$oft is forcing computer users to change their habits and to make their hardware obsolete.

July 26, 2016 | 11:45 AM - Posted by Dr. Poop (not verified)

Upgraded from Win7 Ult to Win10 Pro: wifi adapter drivers had to rollback, and my 5.1 surround sound now is down to 2.1 :( Tried both onboard audio on an MSI 970a-g46 with Realtek drivers directly from manufacturers website, and also a discrete Creative Audigy 2 card. Both set to 96,000hz 24 bit. No luck on either. Anyone else having issues with 5.1 surround sound on Windows 10?

July 26, 2016 | 12:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Trust M$ and become a UWP(Universal Windows Peasant)! That's is one game developer that Knows what the Lords of Redmond are up to! The M$ 3Es is still being utilized! Support the Gaben ant his OS, before it's too late!

"Sweeney: Microsoft Will Force-patch Windows 10 To Make Steam Progressively Worse And More Broken"

July 29, 2016 | 02:26 AM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Use Virtualbox and the installer image to install to a USB key (it won't let you install to it 'native', it has to be masked as a disk) and you can just walk around plonking it into USB ports, activating machines with your spare W7/W8.1 licenses.

July 29, 2016 | 08:05 PM - Posted by Flying Penguin (not verified)

I have seen a LOT of mis-information posted on other news sites. One of the worst is the misconception that the "entitlement" is tied to the old OS key and that if you upgrade now, and then roll back, you would still have to do an upgrade from your old OS in the future which is wrong.

When you get your free upgrade, a fingerprint of your system is created and registered with MS (what MS calls an 'entitlement'). Your system is now licensed for Win10 for life (baring, one supposes, a major hardware change like a new mobo). You can now do a clean install of Win10 on that system any time in the future and it will activate when it touches the MS activation server. Old OS key is not required.

It's the HARDWARE not the key that is being licensed.

I'm seeing sites recommending stupid things like rounding up Win7 keys from stickers on junk hardware and installing them in VMs to link them to a Win10 license, so you can install that key on a PC later and upgrade it to Win10. That's not going to work. All you're doing is getting a Win10 license for that VM.

July 30, 2016 | 06:36 AM - Posted by pmegp (not verified)

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September 19, 2016 | 07:52 PM - Posted by Fullofit (not verified)

You people crack me up. Reading all this FUD that you typed using Windows OS.

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