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KMS Licensing

    Question

  • Good day, 
    I am trying to determine what license is needed to meet the need of my organization.
    We are currently running Windows Server 2008 R2 with a KMS host key which has successfully licensed our 2008 R2 servers and Windows 7 clients for the past few years. Our virtual host servers running 2012 R2 and 2016 Datacenter are activated with MAK licenses and all guest OS’ are activated under the AVMA model.

    Now it’s time to roll out Windows 10. 
    I have tried to decipher the contents of this article and I believe I have found the answer. 
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn502537(v=ws.11).aspx

    “A KMS server running this operating system... can activate these Windows products: On the KMS server in Column 1, this key type… can activate these specific Windows editions:”

    Rephrasing the above sentence with words found in the reference columns, I believe this statement holds true:

    “A KMS server running Server 2012 R2... can activate Windows 10 (once you install the update in the note below this table), on the server running Server 2012 R2 [with a] KMS key, can activate these specific Windows editions: Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Standard, Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.”

    The confusing rhetoric comes from the final two columns, which leads readers (like myself) to believe the KMS activation only works for Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Standard, Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. 

    1) Will a KMS host key for Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter activate Windows 10 clients? 
                 a. Can I configure our Windows 10 clients to point to that KMS host and they will successfully activate? 
                 b. Presumably, a KMS host key for Server 2012 R2 should activate all OS types older than it, right?
    2) If the above is untrue, can someone tell me how our organization can license Windows 10 through KMS?
                 a. As a side question, does Server 2016 Datacenter KMS licensing exist and will it work for Windows 10?

    I don’t appreciate links to equally confusing articles that dance around a direct answer which is why I am posting a direct question. 
    Thank you all in advanced!


    Tuesday, September 26, 2017 11:01 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

    Here is a blog on Activating Windows 10 KMS clients with Windows Server 2012 R2

    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/supportingwindows/2015/09/15/windows-10-volume-activation-tips/

    1) Will a KMS host key for Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter activate Windows 10 clients? You need this key installed to activate Windows 10 clients - Windows Server 2012 R2 for Windows 10
                  a. Can I configure our Windows 10 clients to point to that KMS host and they will successfully activate? Yes if the update and key are installed on 2012 R@ KMS host.
                  b. Presumably, a KMS host key for Server 2012 R2 should activate all OS types older than it, right? That is correct.

    2) If the above is untrue, can someone tell me how our organization can license Windows 10 through KMS? use this site - https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/default.aspx
                 a. As a side question, does Server 2016 Datacenter KMS licensing exist and will it work for Windows 10? Yes it exists and yes it will work for Windows 10


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    • Marked as answer by JosephMolloy Thursday, September 28, 2017 10:16 PM
    Wednesday, September 27, 2017 12:19 AM

All replies

  • Hello,

    Here is a blog on Activating Windows 10 KMS clients with Windows Server 2012 R2

    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/supportingwindows/2015/09/15/windows-10-volume-activation-tips/

    1) Will a KMS host key for Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter activate Windows 10 clients? You need this key installed to activate Windows 10 clients - Windows Server 2012 R2 for Windows 10
                  a. Can I configure our Windows 10 clients to point to that KMS host and they will successfully activate? Yes if the update and key are installed on 2012 R@ KMS host.
                  b. Presumably, a KMS host key for Server 2012 R2 should activate all OS types older than it, right? That is correct.

    2) If the above is untrue, can someone tell me how our organization can license Windows 10 through KMS? use this site - https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/default.aspx
                 a. As a side question, does Server 2016 Datacenter KMS licensing exist and will it work for Windows 10? Yes it exists and yes it will work for Windows 10


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    • Marked as answer by JosephMolloy Thursday, September 28, 2017 10:16 PM
    Wednesday, September 27, 2017 12:19 AM
  • Thank you Darrell!

    For those wondering, the client licensing for Windows 10 is handled by one of the following:

    Windows Server 2016 Data center KMS
    or
    Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard/Datacenter for Windows 10.

    Note that the above key is different than Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard/Datacenter KMS licensing and is provisioned specifically (as the name implies) for Windows 10 client activation (and all clients older than Windows 10).

    If you find yourself with a mountain of MAK licenses in the VLSC but no KMS keys, you must call Microsoft to verify your agreement number and eligibility for KMS licensing. Once verified, KMS licenses will appear in your VLSC portal.

    -Joey


    Thursday, September 28, 2017 10:22 PM