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Windows 8 Keys & Switching Machines.

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  • User profile image
    Ian2

    While not targeted at developers I have often in the past bought machines with a non-pro version of Windows and then upgraded to the pro version myself and used the machine for development.  All is good until I get the next machine and then this is what I want to do:

    I want to remove the 'pro' upgrade from my 'old' machine (and leave it with 'home' or whatever it came with) and transfer the 'pro' licence to the new machine.

    And so my question is - wait for it -

    Is there a relatively painless way to do this?

    NB Sadly I no longer have an MSDN licence hence wanting to reuse the keys that I already own.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Install on the new machine, activate it there. As long as you never use it on the old machine again, you should be fine.

    (Note, IANAL, this is just my personal experience).

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @Sven Groot: Indeed. I haven't had to do it for Windows 8, but I'd imagine that there's a similar process as previous versions. If it balks, you call up and when you can get to a real person, you just explain that the old computer died, is no longer being used, or whatever. As long as you don't do that too often, they always let it through.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @kettch: I haven't had to talk to a person at the activation center in a long time. It's all automated.

    As far as removing Pro from the old machine...I don't think there's a good way to do that without wiping it and reinstalling the Home version.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @spivonious: And you won't have to talk to anybody as long as you don't have too many activations in a given period of time. The automated system is pretty lenient about allowing multiple activations as long as it fits a pattern of re-installing on the same hardware or, as in this case, moving the license. Too much of that and you have to explain yourself to a real person.

  • User profile image
    felix9

    IANAL but I'm afraid thats not legal,

    1, your license was 'bound' to your old pc when you install the pro, you can't 'transfer' it to another pc, AFAIK,

    2, even if you have not really installed the pro, you just have a upgrade media with upgrade license but never used, even then, installing the upgrade version on a fresh new pc, without a home version license bound to it, is still illegel, AFAIK.

  • User profile image
    DaveWill2

    It also seemed like with win8 the licensing changed to state something like the number of activations was x quantity. Maybe I can find that again.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @felix9:Upgrade license is always retail (i.e.: not OEM) so I think as long as the new PC having properly licensed version of Windows on the upgrade path specified on the upgrade, it should be legal.

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  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    , felix9 wrote

    IANAL but I'm afraid thats not legal,

    1, your license was 'bound' to your old pc when you install the pro, you can't 'transfer' it to another pc, AFAIK,

    2, even if you have not really installed the pro, you just have a upgrade media with upgrade license but never used, even then, installing the upgrade version on a fresh new pc, without a home version license bound to it, is still illegel, AFAIK.

    IANAL either, but the EULA that comes with the Pro upgrade is interesting (available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/UseTerms/default.aspx):

    The software covered by this agreement is an upgrade to your existing operating system software, so the upgrade replaces the original software that you are upgrading. You do not retain any rights to the original software after you have upgraded and you may not continue to use it or transfer it in any way. This agreement governs your rights to use the upgrade software and replaces the agreement for the software from which you upgraded. After you complete your upgrade, additional software will be required to playback or record certain types of media, including DVDs.

    This is basically saying that when you install the Pro upgrade, it replaces not only the preinstalled OS, but also strips your right to continue using the preinstalled OS, and explicitly replaces the existing EULA. By replacing the OEM EULA, the language binding the license to the machine disappears (because the license it's in disappears). The upgrade can therefore be transferred under the terms of the next paragraph in the EULA packaged with the upgrade:

    You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement.

    This is basically saying you can transfer the upgrade as long as all of the other license conditions are met: e.g. you remove the upgrade from the PC you installed it on, and only use it to upgrade a qualifying licensed version of Windows on another PC. 

    So, if you have a computer that came preinstalled with Windows 8, and you upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, by the letter of the EULA packaged with the upgrade, removing the Windows 8 Pro from the first machine and then upgrading a new machine with Windows 8 preinstalled to Windows 8 Pro with the same license is acceptable within the terms of the license.

    The *real* wrinkle in the EULA is the fact that it makes no provision for the restoration of the OEM non pro license on the original computer when the upgrade is legally transferred to the new one. A strict reading of this EULA says you can transfer the Windows 8 Pro upgrade to the new computer, but you can no longer even use the original Windows 8 that shipped on the original machine because it became null upon upgrade. In practice, however, I'm thinking Microsoft wouldn't care much if you used your Dell restore CD to put your Optiplex back to factory condition.

    Edit to add: Translation: The EULA says you can transfer the upgrade in order to upgrade another Windows 8 non-pro PC, but strictly EULA speaking, you legally brick the old PC for both Pro and the originally shipped OS.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @Craig_Matthews: And this why EULAs are a bad invention. Wouldn't life be a lot simpler if the EULA said simply

    You can use this software to upgrade one machine that is already running Windows XP or later. You can apply the upgrade to another machine only if the upgrade is removed from the original machine.

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    , spivonious wrote

    @Craig_Matthews: And this why EULAs are a bad invention. Wouldn't life be a lot simpler if the EULA said simply

    *snip*

    It is actually laid out just as plainly in the EULA. The EULA just never gets around to giving the rights back for the original non-pro license on the original machine. There's probably other law that covers that since you (I'd think) have to be able to legally use the OS license preinstalled on a computer when that computer has been restored to factory condition absent any violations of the EULA.

     

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    Option 2: 

    Take your perfectly legal Windows XP Professional complementary retail gold CD, which packaged with a standard retail EULA that you received from the XP Beta days, install it on the new PC (assuming that XP license isn't in use), then get Windows Intune w/SA for $11/month and legally upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise and be eligible to stay on the latest version of Windows as they come out. They gave me four retail complimentary keys, so it looks like I'm getting four of my PCs on the latest Enterprise edition for $11/month.

    Edit to add: I don't even think you'd need to install it. If you have a valid XP Pro license, it's eligible for Intune SA upgrade rights anyway.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    @Craig_Matthews: The keys handed out at the end of the Windows betas always had the additional license terms that they could only be used on machines that were used to test the beta version. So that wouldn't be technically legal. Wink

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    @Sven Groot:

    BAM! I don't remember seeing that, but that sounds plausible and maybe I missed that Big Smile 

    Edit: actually, I think I do remember reading that now.

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