Windows 10 Licensing
Windows 10 is the most secure Windows ever. Windows now includes a number of major security enhancements, including advanced biometrics*, advanced threat protection, malware protection, and trusted hardware. From devices to the cloud, Windows 10 helps to strengthen identity and protect data, with protocols and features designed to prevent malware from running on your device.
It’s familiar and easy to use. Windows 10 was built to bring the best of Windows 7 and 8.1 together in one natural user experience that dynamically adjusts to the way you work. With Tablet Mode*, whether you’re working on a tablet, laptop, or 2-in-1 device, you’ll see how Windows 10 offers a touch-friendly, mobile, and desktop experience all in one operating system.
Upgrade with confidence. With strong app and device compatibility, you can now perform an in-place upgrade** directly to Windows 10 with all your apps, settings, and devices. Purchasing new devices? You can quickly set up new devices out of the box with your corporate apps, data, and settings without having to create and manage images.
Simplify IT and save. Windows 10 is our last major Windows system release. With Windows as a service, we’re beginning the journey to simplify the delivery and management of Windows, while providing the most flexible management and deployment options today. With One Windows, we have one app platform, one security model, and one management approach that can reduce complexity and save costs.
**Hardware/software requirements apply; feature availability may vary. Internet connection required. To check for compatibility and other important installation information, visit your device manufacturer’s website and Windows 10 Specifications and Systems Requirements. Additional requirements may apply over time for updates.
Qualifying operating systems
Windows Volume Licensing
Properly licensed Microsoft operating systems (such as Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista) have either a full operating system license or the combination of an upgrade operating system license and a pre-existing, full operating system license. If you aren’t sure whether your Windows operating system is genuine, see What to look for.
Only certain editions of the Windows operating system qualify for upgrades under Volume Licensing agreements. For more details, download the Windows 10 Qualifying Operating Systems Chart (PDF, 328 KB).
If your operating system license qualifies, you can purchase the Windows 10 Pro Upgrade license or Windows 10 Enterprise Upgrade license under your Volume Licensing agreement. Note that Windows licenses that are available through Volume Licensing are upgrade-only licenses and can only be acquired on top of a base operating system license; these licenses are not a replacement for a pre-existing full operating system license.
The following conditions must be met for a licensed PC to be eligible for a Volume Licensing upgrade license:
- A licensed, qualifying Windows operating system must already be installed on the device that will be assigned the Volume Licensing upgrade license.
- You must remove the existing qualifying operating system from the device to deploy the Volume Licensing upgrade license, unless the PC is covered by Microsoft Software Assurance.
- If you want to install or run more than one licensed operating system at one time (including the qualifying operating system), you can either:
- Acquire Software Assurance for your Volume Licensing upgrade license.
- Purchase full Windows licenses separately.
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Get an overview of Windows editions and related products.
(PDF, 269 KB)
Get an overview of Volume Licensing use rights for Windows when running within virtual machines.