When I create a new VM, on a host machine which has had other activated VMs, the new ones don't activate.
If I take a VM that's already activated, wipe the disk and clean install it, then it sees the entitlement and does activate. Admittedly it's a while since I created a new one, but my experience is that VMs behave much like physical machines.
Also Ed Bott knows his stuff so is likely to be well aware of how activation worked, as does Paul Thurrott who says much the same thing.
I think groze's explanation (that Microsoft are waiting till after the weekend to turn everything off) is more likely.One thing I’m still curious about is product keys: You might recall that last year Microsoft made it possible to install and activate Windows 10 using a valid (and not previously used) Windows 7 or 8 product key. This solved some big problems, but allowing this now makes no sense since the free upgrade period has ended. So I assume this will no longer be the case at some point, though I just tested this with the final Anniversary Update release and it worked just fine.
The way to tell if an activation was the result of the product key or previous digital entitlement would be to install Windows 10 by skipping entering the product key. With only the generic Windows 10 product key installed, in an elevated command prompt run:
With no pre-existing digital entitlement, that command (automatic online activation) will fail. Then go to the activation tab under updates and settings and change the product key to a Windows 7/8/8.1 product key. If that activates, then the activation was the result of the Windows 7/8/8.1 product key and not a pre-existing digital entitlement.
If you enter a Windows 7/8/8.1 product key during the installation process, the user has no way of knowing if it was the product key that caused the activation, or if Windows just pulled an existing digital entitlement from Microsoft servers.
I just remembered something else to. The international dateline. That's another reason Microsoft would wait till Monday or later to stop the keys.
Source International Date Line (IDL)If you cross the date line moving east, you subtract a day, whereas if you are moving west you add a day
Confused, you bet I am, I thought that the product keys for earlier versions of Windows were invalid after upgrading or if used to activate a clean install of W10.
If, for arguments sake, I changed my mind and reinstalled W7 having removed W10 first, say in six months time, it would activate?
So if one of my pc's blew up, I could use the W7 on a new pc assuming the licence was not OEM.
I'm getting a replacement computer that was replaced under warranty by the manufacturer which I will be testing this feature on.