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Is using a non-activated Windows 10 illegal? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know that using a cracked copy of Windows is illegal but what is Microsoft's policy on installing and using a non-activated one?

    I work at a small computer repair shop and our customers often want Windows to be installed on their computers but most of them can't afford a genuine copy. Would it be illegal to install W10 free of charge on their computers without activating it. After that they'll be using a evaluation/trial version that can always be legally or illegally activated by them but that's none of my concern.

    Sunday, May 15, 2016 2:52 PM

Answers

  • Michael, that part probably doesn't count. Look at #5:

    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.

    Otherwise, as a business owner, OP shouldn't want to cut a corner like this. If your company were audited then it could be a big problem. Play it safe. Another option you can look into is the Registered Refurbisher Program.
    https://www.microsoft.com/refurbishedpcs/programs.aspx

    Personally, I would not even put Enterprise Evals on computers for sale either. I mean, unless you are selling computers out of the trunk of your car in gas station parking lots. ;)

    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 9:03 PM

All replies

  • Your customers can active later. Activation message will appear and some settings cannot be set until the OS is activated.

    There are many discussion on the web about this topic. Here is one: http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-quietly-rewrites-its-activation-rules-for-windows-10/


    Sean Liming - Book Author: Starter Guide SIM (WEI), Pro Guide to WE8S & WES 7, Pro Guide to POS for .NET - www.annabooks.com / www.seanliming.com

    Monday, May 16, 2016 12:03 AM
  • You can suggest them to  register, then download and install the full-featured Windows 10 Enterprise for a 90-day evaluation.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-10-enterprise


    S.Sengupta, Windows Experience MVP

    Monday, May 16, 2016 12:22 AM
  • Petar,

    I think the license terms told clearly:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Useterms/Retail/Windows/10/UseTerms_Retail_Windows_10_English.htm

    Depending on how you obtained the Windows software, this is a license agreement between (i) you and the device manufacturer or software installer that distributes the software with your device; or (ii) you and Microsoft Corporation (or, based on where you live or if a business where your principal place of business is located, one of its affiliates) if you acquired the software from a retailer. Microsoft is the device manufacturer for devices produced by Microsoft or one of its affiliates, and Microsoft is the retailer if you acquired the software directly from Microsoft.

    Restrictions. The manufacturer or installer and Microsoft reserve all rights (such as rights under intellectual property laws) not expressly granted in this agreement. For example, this license does not give you any right to, and you may not:

    (i)      use or virtualize features of the software separately;

    (ii)     publish, copy (other than the permitted backup copy), rent, lease, or lend the software;

    (iii)    transfer the software (except as permitted by this agreement);

    (iv)    work around any technical restrictions or limitations in the software;

    (v)     use the software as server software, for commercial hosting, make the software available for simultaneous use by multiple users over a network, install the software on a server and allow users to access it remotely, or install the software on a device for use only by remote users;

    (vi)    reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the software, or attempt to do so, except and only to the extent that the foregoing restriction is permitted by applicable law or by licensing terms governing the use of open-source components that may be included with the software; and

    (vii)   when using Internet-based features you may not use those features in any way that could interfere with anyone else’s use of them, or to try to gain access to or use any service, data, account, or network, in an unauthorized manner.

    I think if you just install the software and didn't activate it, it might touch the restriction option 2.

    Edited.

    Regards


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    • Edited by Michael_LS Thursday, May 19, 2016 7:34 AM Remove inaccurate info
    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 5:32 AM
  • Michael, that part probably doesn't count. Look at #5:

    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.

    Otherwise, as a business owner, OP shouldn't want to cut a corner like this. If your company were audited then it could be a big problem. Play it safe. Another option you can look into is the Registered Refurbisher Program.
    https://www.microsoft.com/refurbishedpcs/programs.aspx

    Personally, I would not even put Enterprise Evals on computers for sale either. I mean, unless you are selling computers out of the trunk of your car in gas station parking lots. ;)

    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 9:03 PM
  • Tripredacus,

    Ah yes, agreed.

    And thanks for the remindings.

    So the conclusion is, to install Windows free is not allowed.

    Regards


    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Thursday, May 19, 2016 7:33 AM