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  1. #1
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    Question Totally confused on Windows 10 upgrade licensing!

    Having read Susan Bradley's excellent article "Sorting through the changes in Windows licensing" I am now even more confused that I was before.

    I will be upgrading from Windows 7 Pro. This was purchased as a boxed Microsoft product but it says on the box that its 'Upgrade designed for Windows Vista'.

    I never had Vista but started with XP. The box points out that in that case I would have to perform a clean install, which I did.

    Is this a retail version that I can upgrade to Windows 10?

    The taskbar nag wants to upgrade. Can I take this as a sign that my Win7 is ok?

    Another complication is that I want to change my HDD. As Windows 10 "Microsoft's activation servers create and store a unique ID based on the old key plus the hardware in your machine", I presume that it would be best to do this before any upgrading is done.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    The prompt means that your installation and hardware have been checked and found to be suitable to be upgraded. Check for program and driver updates before running the upgrade to minimise compatibility problems.
    To avoid any possible activation problems, change the hard drive first.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dd_uk View Post
    I will be upgrading from Windows 7 Pro. ... Is this a retail version that I can upgrade to Windows 10?
    Any version of Windows 7 can be upgraded to Windows 10. What's confusing?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Any version of Windows 7 can be upgraded to Windows 10. What's confusing?
    Retail OS is portable, OEM OS is not. My understanding is that MS will be rather generous in allowing hardware upgrades to OEM versions of Windows 10, but will not allow transferring that OS to a new/different PC. Retail Windows has always been portable and remains so.

    The gist I get is that if one upgrades a Retail Windows 7 Professional OS to the free Windows 10 Pro OS, then the retail portability of the Windows 7 Professional is retained in the replacement license for Windows 10 Pro. On the other hand, even though the Windows 10 upgrade is technically a retail product, if it is applied over a non-portable OEM OS, the Windows 10 license will retain the non-portable nature of the OEM license it replaces.

    And as always, an OEM Windows version purchased via a retail channel is still a non-portable OEM OS. Buying OEM through a retail merchant does not magically transform it into a "retail, portable" version of Windows; it's still OEM, married to the machine in which it is installed.

    The "Retail Upgrade" version the OP refers to fits the retail channel, not the OEM channel. The ability to clean-install the upgrade version was hard-coded into that particular distribution, and it should retain its portability, IMO.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2015-09-05 at 10:52.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Yes, but portability wasn't questioned in this thread.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Yes, but portability wasn't questioned in this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by dd_uk View Post
    Having read Susan Bradley's excellent article "Sorting through the changes in Windows licensing" I am now even more confused that I was before.

    I will be upgrading from Windows 7 Pro. This was purchased as a boxed Microsoft product but it says on the box that its 'Upgrade designed for Windows Vista'.

    I never had Vista but started with XP. The box points out that in that case I would have to perform a clean install, which I did.

    Is this a retail version that I can upgrade to Windows 10?

    The taskbar nag wants to upgrade. Can I take this as a sign that my Win7 is ok?

    Another complication is that I want to change my HDD. As Windows 10 "Microsoft's activation servers create and store a unique ID based on the old key plus the hardware in your machine", I presume that it would be best to do this before any upgrading is done.
    I was trying to add some clarity overall for the OP as well as those who might read the post in the future. Portability wasn't questioned specifically, but confusion was stated, and two questions raised about retail and about upgrading. That the OS mentioned in the OP is indeed retail, upgradability becomes a non-issue.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    That the OS mentioned in the OP is indeed retail, upgradability becomes a non-issue.
    Upgradeability was a non-issue even if not retail.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Upgradeability was a non-issue even if not retail.
    Late last year I did a total rebuild of my dual boot of Retail Windows 7 Ultimate/Retail Windows 8.1 Pro by transferring both from one box to another. Completely different motherboard and CPU by a couple of generations, different drives, a complete change in hardware from one machine to another machine. Both Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 8.1 activated online—no call to Microsoft was necessary.

    I submit that this type of (total) upgradability would not be readily available to OEM-licensed Windows. Since my Windows 10 Pro upgrade is over a retail Windows 7 Ultimate, I foresee the same ease of portability with a dual boot of Retail Windows 8.1 Pro/Retail Windows 10 Pro after a few years and generation changes in hardware. From the Windows 10 Pro EULA:

    "4. Transfer.

    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."


    If it started retail, it stays retail, can be transferred to another machine you own provided it's uninstalled from the prior machine. "Every time you transfer the software to a new device" seems to indicate that you can move it a number of times.

    Bottom line, someone who invested (depending on issue, around $200) in Retail Windows 7 does not lose that total upgradability by upgrading to Windows 10; it is retained in the current EULA.

    Or put into another context, for one who prefers to build their own PC, owns an older machine with Retail Windows 7 (or 8/8.1) installed on it and upgrades to Windows 10, when their machine finally needs to be replaced, their Windows 10 license does not expire with the machine. They will have the portability to transfer that installation to a completely new machine; they won't have to buy a new license for Windows 10.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    All of which is about portability. None of which was asked about in post #1.

    I quoted exactly the same section of the Windows 10 EULA two days ago in relation to Susan Bradley's contention that, "Long-term, portability is not part of the free version of Windows 10." (Apparently based on "A Microsoft spokesperson stated: “After the first year, you would not be able to move the installation to a different device, as the upgrade is specific to your device, not your license or Windows account.""):

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    4. Transfer 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. (The section continues, but this is the important bit.)
    I think we're agreeing, but words are getting in the way!

  10. #10
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    Although the details of "Sorting through the changes in Windows licensing" can be confusing your computer is upgradeable to Windows 10 as mentioned

    You also ask “Is this a retail version that I can upgrade to Windows 10?”
    See if this helps:
    Windows 7: Determining whether OEM or Retail via MGADiag
    http://www.sevenforums.com/windows-u...a-mgadiag.html

  11. #11
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    I think we're agreeing, but words are getting in the way!
    I think you're right—I seem to do that sometimes.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  12. #12
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    dd_uk you ask the following:
    Another complication is that I want to change my HDD. As Windows 10 "Microsoft's activation servers create and store a unique ID based on the old key plus the hardware in your machine", I presume that it would be best to do this before any upgrading is done.

    I just did an upgrade of a Windows 7 Pro system to make sure that Windows 10 activated OK.
    I then took out the old hard drive and replaced it with a new hard drive and reinstalled Windows 10 from a DVD. (I wanted a fresh install)
    The new install activated without any problems.
    The answer to your question is: Once you have installed and activated Windows 10 on a system, you can replace the HDD and either clone the old drive or install fresh.
    Hope this answers your question.

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