Yep, just did that and you're right....so, it must be a generic product key...how do you like that....well, at least you know that it can be inserted when installing with the dvd without causing any problems...
I thought it was a unique code for my install....I guess the "key" thing (pun intended) is that it is done AFTER an upgraded install which activates it on your hardware...
From a business standpoint, you have to look at the time you are spending now, in order to save $119 or $198 later on buying Windows 10. It's not "free" if it costs you more to get the free install than paying for Windows 10 later. If your time is worth $50 an hour and you spend 3 or 4 hours now, of time you don't have, to get a "free" upgrade, there's your answer.
Last edited by Antilope; 10 Aug 2015 at 22:58.
Free upgrade was for Home and Professional versions - Enterprise has no such offer. Small businesses may use Windows where free upgrades are applicable, and may wish to take advantage of the offer.
Upgrade vs. clean install = Swings and roundabouts.
If a clean install from purchased Retail media saves 2-3 hours over a "free" upgrade install, how much additional time to install essential apps, drivers, utilities, and other packages, configure, audit, and otherwise tweak and troubleshoot everything to get each new system running with the same functionality as the old system you would have upgraded it from?
Or even to get your IT technician/contractor to build a servicing machine, do all the above to get it right then sysprep it for deployment it around your organization?
Whichever avenue you take, it's an expensive business to upgrade a business to a new OS, and not a step to rush into, without planning, costing and getting the logistics and legalities straight. 12 months (the time of availability of the free upgrade offer) is often not enough time to plan and carry out the changes.
That's why Microsoft offer Enterprise systems, and the volume licenses for the bigger organizations, with different levels of support, at very different rates from the single licenses for the home consumer. It's also the reason why a few organizations still run systems based on what Microsoft would consider "Legacy" products, because the cost of change is so much greater than the cost of maintaining functional old systems.
Therefore for most organizations, the free upgrade offer is not only not worth it, it is irrelevant.
last five here GVGXT
If you check the PRODUCT CODE (not your Key) I think you will find it different on each PC -- I've updated two different machines from actually THE SAME W8.1 PRO OS and they both activated OK and showed a different product ID.
(The W8.1 system I upgraded from was an old VL (Multiple activation) TechNet licence which I had never used. Those old TechNet keys are still valid for people who had subscribed to the program and are VALID for a free W10 update).
I suspect this product id plus the hardware must create some unique code on the hardware servers -- it can't be just on hashes of hardware as there's loads of machines around the world with identical hardware and it's not always possible to read hardware part nrs etc.
As far as FREE upgrades for commercial organisations - I agree it's just not worth their time and money -- companies like SHELL for example have a large IT dept (or several) who are paid to do this sort of thing while users just get on with their work.
The amount of money saved if they could get FREE upgrades would probably be less than the cost of operating ONE Oil Rig for about 30 mins. !!!!
In any case for businesses stuff like I.T usually in most countries is allowed against business taxes as Business Capital expenditure or similar.
However I would suggest that (if you haven't already) you check out the "Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer" which is part of the Windows 10 ADK, and "Provisioning Packages", for what you do *after* you've done the upgrades to grab the licences.
Microsoft seem to have changed quite a lot in this area. I'm not 100% sure what the advantages are, although the ability to create a custom USB stick that will install a given image when you boot it sounds clever. Plus you can include your own software setup in a provisioning package which means that a Reset will bring back that software.
It will be interesting now to see if a few VM installs of 10 will activate. One clean install on VM is going as this is being posted!
Try this one for a twist! From 10 on one machine remote access to another to perform the installation onto VM Player 7.1.2 being the latest version of that where the 64bit 10 can actually connect online while the TP previously on the older version 5.
The second upgrade to repair the initial upgrade wouldn't activate on it's own. Sunday night when pushing forward for the clean install after a week with the second I never even checked off the activate online box and found 10 was activated automatically! Now to see ff a VM can be activated since the second remote case is portable and the idea is show how different 10 is to some people running 8 laptops! One with a 7 desktop he never bothered to set up following a clean install a few years back!