Windows 10: Activation switched from "with product key" to "with Digital License"

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  1.    08 Aug 2016 #11

    cereberus said: View Post
    The interesting section is the section on reinstalling OS. Originally it had two statements which basically said:-

    1) digital licence activations did not need a key to reinstall.

    2) prouduct key activations did need a key to reinstall (automatic for preinstalled oem 10).

    What is interesting is the second paragraph no longer exists.

    So either the webpage is wrong (paragraph omitted by mistake which seems highly unlikely), or it has been removed.

    Removal could be for two reasons

    a) it was always incorrect, and new version rectifies that.

    b) something has changed ie retail product key licences are now given digital licences (it is possible they always did but we did not know - see 1 above). This would make sense as it would mean you would be able to use new tool to transfer a retail licence to new pc rather than needed to enter old key (or worse use telephone activation).

    An interesting test would be to see if you get same digital licence message if you used a Windows 10 OEM licence - I am betting you do not as oem licences are not transferrable.
    I'm pretty sure that page was updated recently, its not how I remember it. I've gone there many times in the past.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    08 Aug 2016 #12

    I have a retail copy of 10 pro which showed the last for digits in the activation page. I did a clean install of win upgrade(1607) and applied the licence number at install. On checking the activation page it was changed to "Digital Licence", not Digital Entitlement. So I entered my licence number just to see what would happen and the answer was "already Licensed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    08 Aug 2016 #13

    no1yak said: View Post
    I have a retail copy of 10 pro which showed the last for digits in the activation page. I did a clean install of win upgrade(1607) and applied the licence number at install. On checking the activation page it was changed to "Digital Licence", not Digital Entitlement. So I entered my licence number just to see what would happen and the answer was "already Licensed.
    Thank you, that's exactly what I was wanting to know. The Digital Entitlement gives your PC a Digital License. Microsoft calls the process a Digital Entitlement. The message in settings activation will say Digital License. They are both the same thing. You can now do a clean install and just skip entering a key. Before now, that would not have worked on a PC that had not done the free upgrade.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    08 Aug 2016 #14

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    Exactly. Things have changed with 1607.

    I have one PC here that has never been upgraded to 1607 and activated. If I install Education 1511 on it and do a skip key, it will not activate. Even though Education 1511 has already been activated on it, twice. Both times it showed activated with a product code. So this PC does not have a digital license for Education. Not yet. I have purposely avoided activating 1607 on that PC. I even upgraded from the unactivated 1511 to 1607 and 1607 showed unactivated.
    The acid test now is to activate using new key and reinstalling 10586 and 14393 and see if both or only 14393 activates ie is digital licence backwards compatible?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    08 Aug 2016 #15

    cereberus said: View Post
    The acid test now is to activate using new key and reinstalling 10586 and 14393 and see if both or only 14393 activates ie is digital licence backwards compatible?
    In the past, if I did a change product code on my 10 Pro install, and entered my Education key. Activation switched from activated with a digital license to activated with a product code. And it would list the last 5 digits of the code.
    Now when I do that it stays as activated with a digital license. The DL is upwards compatible, as far as I know. I can clean install 1511 Pro or 1607 Pro on this PC with a skip key and they will both activate. I do believe its edition specific (Home, Pro, etc) but not build specific. I've installed an older insider build on a PC that never had an insider build on it and it activated just fine on the 10 Pro DL that PC had gotten with the free upgrade.

    Right now, I only have the one PC that doesn't have a DL for the education version. I've delayed activating it in 1607 so I can do more tests. Once its activated in 1607 there is no going back.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    08 Aug 2016 #16

    alphanumeric said: View Post

    Right now, I only have the one PC that doesn't have a DL for the education version. I've delayed activating it in 1607 so I can do more tests. Once its activated in 1607 there is no going back.
    Yeah - it is interesting there does not seem to be anyway of removing a digital licence once established. Without going into details, for obvious reasons, this has serious implications eg when selling PC.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    08 Aug 2016 #17

    cereberus said: View Post
    Yeah - it is interesting there does not seem to be anyway of removing a digital licence once established. Without going into details, for obvious reasons, this has serious implications eg when selling PC.
    Yes and no. I do believe with this new "digital license linked to your Microsoft Account", you can unlink it and or transfer it to another PC? There was a thread on it, can't find it at the moment though.
    You can remove a device from the list of devices in your Microsoft Account.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    08 Aug 2016 #18

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    Yes and no. I do believe with this new "digital license linked to your Microsoft Account", you can unlink it and or transfer it to another PC? There was a thread on it, can't find it at the moment though.
    You can remove a device from the list of devices in your Microsoft Account.

    There is a huge public misconception on many sites that the digital licence is linked with the account, so if you login with an MS account, it activates. This is not the case.

    All the link does is "remember" where your digital licence is on the current activation servers (maybe makes a copy on your MS account?), so if it FAILS to activate due a hardware changes (new mobo id does not match record), you can activate it manually as the link tells pc where to find your digital licence.


    Thus removing device from the MSA account does not remove the digital licence, only the pointer to it on the activation servers (or maybe just a copy).

    I have tested this - I logged in with MS account in VM with a digital licence, deleted device from VM. the reinstalled clean using a local login account (so device does not reappear on MS account), and it still activates ok.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    08 Aug 2016 #19

    cereberus said: View Post
    There is a huge public misconception on many sites that the digital licence is linked with the account, so if you login with an MS account, it activates. This is not the case.

    All the link does is "remember" where your digital licence is on the current activation servers (maybe makes a copy on your MS account?), so if it FAILS to activate due a hardware changes (new mobo id does not match record), you can activate it manually as the link tells pc where to find your digital licence.


    Thus removing device from the MSA account does not remove the digital licence, only the pointer to it on the activation servers (or maybe just a copy).

    I have tested this - I logged in with MS account in VM with a digital licence, deleted device from VM. the reinstalled clean using a local login account (so device does not reappear on MS account), and it still activates ok.
    I'll have to read up on it, from an official source so I don't end up putting my foot in my mouth. I've been doing so many test installs lately I haven't had a chance to catch up on things.

    Yes, just deleting the device doesn't remove the digital license. It would be one way (I think) to remove it from your account if you resold the PC with Windows 10 installed and activated with the digital entitlement. Its what I was thinking when I posted it. I could have worded it better. I've done countless clean installs and deleted the device, wash rinse and repeat. I usually change the name of the PC so I can tell at a glance which one is which in my devices list. Some times when I do that the new name shows up and the old one stays put too. I just delete the old one to clean things up.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       08 Aug 2016 #20

    As I understand these new licensing:

    The term Digital Entitlement was changed to Digital Licensing

    Using a MSA to sign-in associates the licensing information with your MSA. How it does that is unimportant, but the implications are important - clean installing Win10 after hardware changes will be activated using the Digital License tied to your Microsoft account.

    If you install different editions on the same machine and sign-in with a MSA, there is a Digital License tied to your Microsoft account license for each edition.

    I have not tested this, but there are statements re: MSA and Local accounts: Change the sign-in to a local account and the digital license is gone. It doesn't make sense to me, but I've seen it in a few places (sorry, no citation). It would make more sense if the machine was installed with a Local account (no way to associate anything on your MSA), but once the license is tied to your MSA ????

    Always interesting to read your posts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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