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Microsoft details the two activation methods for Windows 10

By Ng Chong Seng - on 29 Sep 2015, 11:01am

Microsoft details the two activation methods for Windows 10

Two months after launch, it seems like Windows 10 has been installed on over 100 million devices. Sure, that’s still far off from Microsoft’s 3-year–1-billion-installs target, but it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a very, very good start.

Presumably, most of these installs are from users who took advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for eligible Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices. But there are also other ways to get Windows 10, and the various activation scenarios have caused much confusion because there’s no official guidance from Microsoft - that is, until now.

In the just published Activation in Windows 10 page, Microsoft has listed down the ways one could have gotten Windows 10 and their corresponding activation method.

In short, you can activate Windows 10 (to prove that it’s genuine) either via a product key or a digital entitlement. You usually get the former when you buy a copy of Windows 10 at retail, a new device that comes with Windows 10, or if you’ve a Volume Licensing agreement for Windows 10 or MSDN subscription. And digital entitlement (where a product key isn’t needed) applies when you upgrade to Windows 10 for free from an eligible device running a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, bought it via the Windows Store, or if you're an Insider upgrading to the latest preview build (assuming you’ve an eligible device and running an activated previous version of Windows and Windows 10 Preview).

There are also several links at the bottom of the page to answer other questions, like how does one activate Windows 10 after a hardware configuration change, or after a re-installation.

For enterprises looking for answers to the new servicing options in Windows 10, the Introduction to Windows 10 servicing page on TechNet is worth checking out.

Source: Microsoft (1, 2).