Generic Product Keys to Install Windows 10 Editions  

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  1. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,517
    Windows 10 Pro
       #50

    itsme1 said:
    What I wanted to say above, if we leave windows 10 without activation there are no major restrictions in the OS, so officially it's legal. But according to this site [FAQ] Can I Use Windows 10 Without Activation? which gives the link to the Microsoft License Terms, it is illegal.
    One must also remember that failure to comply with the EULA does not make the act illegal. Can a single user who uses Windows 10 without activating be charged with a crime and be fined or go to jail in a criminal court? Probably not. Can Microsoft sue them for damages in a civil court? Yes.
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  2. Posts : 12
    Win 10 v. 1709
       #51

    NavyLCDR said:
    This is from the Windows 10 End Users License Agreement (EULA):

    5. Authorized Software and Activation. You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method.


    In the context of the use of generic product keys - they are really of no use until you comply the EULA and gain a digital license for Windows 10.
    Thank you for raising the matter. I went through the whole EULA and would like to comment as a lawyer. Licensed and practicing law professional from an EU-member state.
    If we look in the very beginning, article 1, letter a. outlines the scope of application of this user agreement, and these are two alternate hypotheses:
    This agreement applies to the Windows software that is preinstalled on your device, or acquired from a retailer (and installed by you)
    Obviously, neither of these cover the instance of obtaining your copy directly from Microsoft via their native, freely-distributed Media creation tool, so it can safely be ruled out of the scope of the agreement's application. With that in mind, I would feel confident to face any lawsuit MS might be willing to file.

    Maybe it's worth noting that I set up the installation USB 3 and a half years ago, right after 1709 was rolled out. I see now media creation tool is at least said to require a product key for it to work. Have not used it since then. Maybe that's where generic keys come in handy? When I did it in 2017's fall, I don't recall needing one and I've definitely not used any 3rd party tool.
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  3. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,517
    Windows 10 Pro
       #52

    bgbrother said:
    Obviously, neither of these cover the instance of obtaining your copy directly from Microsoft via their native, freely-distributed Media creation tool, so it can safely be ruled out of the scope of the agreement's application. With that in mind, I would feel confident to face any lawsuit MS might be willing to file.

    Maybe it's worth noting that I set up the installation USB 3 and a half years ago, right after 1709 was rolled out. I see now media creation tool is at least said to require a product key for it to work.
    Microsoft is a retailer, you therefore acquired the software from a retailer by downloading it from the Microsoft website. Notice, counselor, that the EULA uses the word acquired, not purchased.

    Also, neither the Media Creation Tool nor the installation media created by it require a product to use or install Windows, and never has. Which is a completely moot point. The EULA says it applies "to the Windows software that is preinstalled on your device, or acquired from a retailer and installed by you" Microsoft is a retailer. You acquire the software from a retailer when you download it from Microsoft, therefore you are required to activate the software by a means authorized by Microsoft to use Windows in compliance with the EULA.

    It is like the government requiring you to have a license to drive a vehicle on public roads. Just because you can start a vehicle and physically drive it without a license does not negate the legal requirement to have a license to drive it on public roadways.
    Last edited by NavyLCDR; 07 Mar 2021 at 11:11.
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  4. Posts : 12
    Win 10 v. 1709
       #53

    NavyLCDR said:
    Microsoft is a retailer, you therefore acquired the software from a retailer by downloading it from the Microsoft website. Notice, counselor, that the EULA uses the word acquired, not purchased.

    Also, neither the Media Creation Tool nor the installation media created by it require a product to use or install Windows, and never has. Which is a completely moot point. The EULA says it applies "to the Windows software that is preinstalled on your device, or acquired from a retailer and installed by you" Microsoft is a retailer. You acquire the software from a retailer when you download it from Microsoft, therefore you are required to activate the software by a means authorized by Microsoft to use Windows in compliance with the EULA.

    It is like the government requiring you to have a license to drive a vehicle on public roads. Just because you can start a vehicle and physically drive it without a license does not negate the legal requirement to have a license to drive it on public roadways.
    I'm open to discuss different opinions, even if I don't agree with them. That's your personal interpretation, from a 'better-safe-than-sorry' point of view. Fine. Since the EULA does not contain a definition of used terms, the subject is open for disputes. We can delve into the dictionary definition of 'retailer', it's contrast with producer, manufacturer etc. and whether it can be reasonably and plausibly believed that the MS company meant itself among the first in this enumeration. I don't think their legal team made a major screw up with this, but rather it likely reflects their shift of business model.
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  5. Posts : 29
    windows 100586.164
       #54

    I'm installing windows 10 pro using an autounattend.xml file, I've tried all three "pro keys" provided in the first post in my XML, but non of them worked to prevent the installation to prompt me for a key.

    The following is a snipped of my autounattend.xml
    Code:
    <UserData>
        <ProductKey>
            <Key>NF6HC-QH89W-F8WYV-WWXV4-WFG6P</Key>
            <WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
        </ProductKey>
        <AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula>
        <Organization></Organization>
    </UserData>
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