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Windows Desktop Operating System

Showing terms for the Microsoft Customer Agreement program. Not all terms apply to all products and programs. Get help selecting a program.

Availability

Use the chart below to see which Windows Desktop Operating System products are available with which programs.
Product MCA Date Available Program Attribute
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 (User SL)
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2 (User SL)
Windows 10 Home Academic Legalization Get Genuine
Windows 10 Pro Legalization Get Genuine
Windows 11 Enterprise A3 (SL) 10/17
Windows 11 Enterprise A5 (Per User)
Windows 11 Enterprise E3 (SL) 8/15
Windows 11 Enterprise E5 (SL) 8/16
Windows 11 Home to Pro Upgrade for Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Windows 11 Pro (Per Device) 8/15
Windows 7 ESU 2021 (Per Device)
Windows Enterprise LTSC 2021 (Per Device) 10/18
Windows VDA E3 (SL) 12/14

Product Conditions:

Provides additional information related to acquiring the Product, such as prerequisites for purchase, prior versions, and the applicable Product Pool.

Product Conditions - General
Prior VersionWindows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2016 (10/16), Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry  (4/14)
Product PoolSystem
PromotionsNone
Product Conditions - Program Specific
Student Use BenefitRefer to Student Use Benefits and Academic Programs

License Assignment for Windows Desktop Operating System Licenses

Per User License Assignment Eligibility (Excluding Virtual Desktop Access)

The Licensed User must be the Primary User of at least one device licensed with a Qualifying OS. This one device must also be the Primary User’s primary work device.

Per Device License Assignment Eligibility (Excluding Virtual Desktop Access)

The Licensed Device must be licensed with a Qualifying OS, and the Qualifying OS must be installed on the Licensed Device. Per Device license assignment is permanent unless Customer has Software Assurance for that device.

Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) License Assignment Eligibility

VDA Per Device and Per User licenses may be assigned to any user or device.

Qualifying Operating Systems 

Windows software acquired through a volume licensing agreement may only be installed or activated on devices licensed to run one of the qualifying operating systems (OS) below. 

Qualifying OS for Per User Licenses and Virtual Desktop Access Per Device/User Licenses

Qualifying Operating SystemsEnterprise Agreement, Microsoft Products and Services Agreement, Select, Select PlusMicrosoft Cloud Agreement and Microsoft Customer Agreement
Windows 10/11
Enterprise, IoT Enterprise, Pro, Pro for WorkstationsXX
Education, Home X (Academic licenses only)
Windows 8/8.1 1
Enterprise, Pro, Windows Embedded 8/8.1 Pro/Industry ProX 

1 Windows 7 Operating Systems covered by an Extended Security Update (ESU) license are Qualifying Operating Systems during the device’s active ESU coverage period. Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, Ultimate and Professional/Ultimate for Embedded Systems editions are equivalent to Windows 8 Pro edition eligibility.

Qualifying OS - Per Device Licenses (Excluding Virtual Desktop Access Licenses)

Unless Customer has Software Assurance for the device, Customer must remove the Qualifying OS from the device before installing Windows software acquired through a volume licensing agreement on a Licensed Device.

Qualifying Operating SystemsNew Enterprise Agreement (EA)/Open Value Company Wide (OV-OW) 1Existing Enterprise Agreement (EA)/Open Value Company Wide (OV-OW)Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA)/Select Plus/OpenMicrosoft Cloud Agreement and Microsoft Customer AgreementAcademic and Charity
Windows 10/11 
Enterprise, Pro, Pro for WorkstationsXXXXX
Education, Home   X (Academic licenses only)X
Windows 8/8.1 2
Enterprise, Pro X X X  X
Windows 8/8.1     X
Apple     
macOS 3 X  X  X
Windows Embedded Operating Systems     
Windows 10/11 IoT Enterprise X X X X
Windows 2000 Professional for Embedded Systems X  X  X
Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems X  X  X
Windows Vista Business/Ultimate for Embedded Systems X  X  X
Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate for Embedded Systems X X X  X
Windows Embedded 8/8.1 Pro/Industry Pro X X X  X

1 Also applicable to Qualified Devices acquired through merger or acquisition.

2 Windows 7 Operating Systems covered by an Extended Security Update (ESU) license are Qualifying Operating Systems during the device’s active ESU coverage period. Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, and Ultimate editions are equivalent to Windows 8 Pro edition eligibility. Windows 7 Home Premium, Home Basic, and Starter Edition editions are equivalent to Windows 8 edition eligibility.

3 macOS must be preinstalled by the authorized manufacturer prior to the initial sale of the device.

Third Party Re-imaging

Before a third party may re-image a Customer’s devices, Customer must provide the third party with written documentation showing it has the requisite licenses for the installation.

Purchase Eligibility for Windows 11 Home to Pro Upgrade for Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Customers in Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA, or any country in the European Union may license the Windows 11 Home to Pro Upgrade for Microsoft 365 Business Premium in any quantity up to the number of its Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscriptions. Notwithstanding the Qualifying OS license requirements, Customer may install Windows 11 Home to Pro Upgrade for Microsoft 365 Business Premium software on devices licensed with Windows Home version 7 or later.

Automatic Updates

Customer authorizes Microsoft to download and install updates automatically on devices running Windows 10/11 unless they have been configured to prevent automatic updates using supported methods. All updates are licensed under the same terms as the Product to which they apply.

Windows 7 ESU (Extended Security Updates)

Customer may acquire Windows 7 ESU licenses on a per device basis. Devices running a local OSE covered by ESU or accessing virtual OSEs covered by ESU must be licensed with Windows 7 ESU for the respective year of coverage. Devices do not need an ESU license to access Windows 7 OSEs covered by ESU running on Azure Virtual Desktop. If Customer has one or more ESU licenses, devices do not need an ESU license to run or access Windows 7 OSEs covered by ESU when the OSE is licensed through a Visual Studio Subscription for development or test purposes. Windows 7 ESU 2020/2021/2022 for M365 licenses may only be assigned to devices with active Software Assurance or used exclusively by users with Windows Enterprise, VDA, or M365 SLs (that include Windows Enterprise). Windows 7 ESU 2020/2021/2022 licenses may be assigned to any device. Windows 7 ESU 2021 & 2022 and Windows 7 ESU 2021 & 2022 for M365 licenses may only be assigned to devices also licensed with ESU(s) for the prior year(s).

Academic and Charity Programs 

License Assignment

Per User License Assignment

The Licensed User must be the Primary User of at least one device that satisfies the Qualifying OS Per Device License requirements.

Per Device License Assignment

The Licensed Device must satisfy the Qualifying OS Per Device license requirements, and the Qualifying OS must be installed on the Licensed Device. Per Device license assignment is permanent unless Customer has Software Assurance for that device.

Academic Program Windows Edition Rights

Windows Education licenses include rights to install or activate Windows Enterprise in lieu of Windows Education.

Lab and Library Use

Institutions with Windows Education E3/E5, or Windows Education (per device) assigned to all faculty and staff, Education Qualified Users or Knowledge Workers may install Windows Education, Windows Enterprise, or Windows Pro Academic on any open access lab or library within the Institution’s Organization. Use of the software is otherwise subject to the License terms for Windows Education. This provision does not apply to User SLs acquired under the Microsoft Cloud Agreement and Microsoft Customer Agreement.

Shared Devices

Institutions with Windows Education E3/E5 assigned to all Knowledge Workers or Education Qualified Users are licensed to run Windows Education, Windows Enterprise, or Windows Pro Academic on any shared device with a qualifying operating system within the Institution’s Organization. For the purposes of this subsection, shared device means a device not used by any one person more than 50% of the time during a single work day period, and not assigned to any Primary User as their primary work device. Use of Windows on shared devices does not count as use of an Education Platform Product under the Enrollment for Education Solutions. Use of the software is otherwise subject to the License terms for Windows Education.

Graduation Benefit

Institutions with an active Agreement may, at any time during the Agreement term, transfer a Student’s Windows Education license to such Student when they become a Graduate if the Student installs or activates Windows Education on a Student owned device while enrolled at the institution. Institution must provide each such Graduate with a license agreement in the form provided by Microsoft. Upon the Graduate’s acceptance of the terms of the license agreement, the Graduate receives a perpetual right to run Windows Education locally on the same device. This entitlement is nontransferable to any other device. 

Get Genuine Windows Licenses

  • Customers may acquire Get Genuine Windows (also known as “GGWA”) licenses for the full version of the Windows desktop operating system for devices that require valid Windows licenses. Because Get Genuine Windows licenses are full licenses for Windows, they do not have a Qualifying OS requirement.
  • Get Genuine Windows licenses are available only as a one-time purchase per Customer, where all units must be placed under a single order. Get Genuine Windows licenses may not be assigned to devices without a Qualifying OS if such devices are obtained after the Customer’s order.

Use Rights

Identifies the License Terms for each Software Product, including the Universal License Terms, the applicable License Model, and any Product-Specific License Terms. References in Customer’s volume licensing agreement to “Use Rights” refer to the terms included in the Use Rights section of each Software Product Entry.

Use Rights
License TermsUniversal License Terms for all Software (see Additional License Terms for Online Services section below)
Down EditionsEnterprise to Pro
External User Access RequirementsNone
Included TechnologiesNone
NoticesH.264/MPEG-4 AVC and/or VC-1 - refer to Notices 

Additional License Terms for Online Services

Certain Windows software licenses include some Online Services which are governed by the Universal License Terms for Online Services, including but not limited to, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Windows Autopatch, Windows Update Compliance, Windows Update for Business deployment service, and Desktop Analytics.

Windows diagnostic data processor configuration

For Windows 10/11 Enterprise, Pro, and Education editions that support a Windows diagnostic data processor configuration, Microsoft is the processor for Windows diagnostic data collected from a device where such configuration is set. This configuration is set by joining an Azure Active Directory account to the device and taking any other necessary steps described in the Product documentation (www.aka.ms/wddprocessor). Except as provided above, Microsoft will continue to be a controller of Personal Data processed in connection with your use of Windows, including data processed by Microsoft in connection with Customer’s use of service-based capabilities. When Microsoft is a controller, Microsoft will handle the Personal Data in accordance with the Microsoft Privacy Statement (www.aka.ms/privacy), and the Data Protection Addendum (www.aka.ms/DPA) terms do not apply.

Windows Local Use

Customer may run Windows software acquired through a volume licensing agreement as one Physical OSE locally on Licensed Devices. This local use right applies to VDA per device licenses only if the Licensed Device is also licensed with a Qualifying Operating System. Licensed Users may run Windows software acquired through a volume licensing agreement as one Physical OSE locally on devices licensed with a Qualifying Operating System.

Windows Azure AD-Based Activation

Licensed Users using Azure AD-based activation may activate the software in the Physical OSE on up to five concurrent devices running either Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update or Windows 10 Enterprise Creator’s Update or a later version.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Eligible Licensed Users may use Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on up to five concurrent devices.

Windows Apps

Unless other terms are displayed to Customer or presented in the app’s settings, Customer agrees the services that it accesses from the Windows app is governed by the Microsoft Services Agreement at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=246338 or for Windows apps that access Xbox services, the Xbox.com terms of use at http://xbox.com/legal/livetou.

Microsoft Customer Agreement Activation Use Rights

For Customers licensed under a Microsoft Cloud Agreement or Microsoft Customer Agreement,

  • Notwithstanding Windows Azure AD-Based Activation and Windows 11 Upgrade Benefit requirements, each user may activate no more than five concurrent instances of the software across physical and virtual OSEs.
  • For subscription licenses only, notwithstanding the Universal License Terms for all Software or volume licensing agreement, upgrade subscription licenses do not include rights to run or install a prior version, different language version, different platform version, or a lower edition of Windows, including Windows Enterprise LTSC. Users may, however, apply their edition upgrades to Windows 10 devices without updating to Windows 11 if they chose.
  • Software Assurance Benefits do not apply.

Windows 11 Upgrade Benefit

The following User SLs include a Windows 11 upgrade benefit (version upgrade only, edition remains the same) for device(s) licensed with Windows 8, 8.1, 10: 

  • Windows 11 Enterprise/Education (all)
  • Microsoft 365 (all that include Windows 11 Enterprise)

Windows 11 Multitenant Hosting

Customers with Windows 11 Enterprise Per User SLs (excluding local only), Windows 11 Education Per User SLs, or VDA Per User SLs using Azure AD-based activation on supported editions may install the Windows 10 Creators Update or later version software on a virtual machine running in Customer's Microsoft Azure accounts (notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Outsourcing Software Management clause) or a shared server with a Qualified Multitenant Hosting Partner ("QMTH") identified at https://aka.ms/QMTHAuthorizedPartnerList. Rights to install and use the software with a QMTH do not apply if the QMTH is using a Listed Provider as a Data Center Provider. Each Licensed User may access up to four instances of the software. Azure Government customers may use KMS activation in lieu of Azure AD-based activation. When configuring the image(s) on Microsoft Azure, Customers must indicate their use of the multitenant hosting for Windows and adhere to other software configuration requirements available at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/vda-subscription-activation. This section does not apply to Students receiving access to software through Student Use Benefit.

Azure Virtual Desktop for Windows

Azure Virtual Desktop for Windows

Users licensed with Microsoft 365 E3/E5/F3/Business Premium/A3/A5/Student Use Benefit, Windows Enterprise E3/E5, Windows Education A3/A5, or Windows VDA E3/E5 may access Azure Virtual Desktop Windows virtual machines running in Customer's Microsoft Azure accounts. Azure Virtual Desktop virtual machines do not count against a user’s device activation count limit.

Azure Virtual Desktop for Development and Test

Users licensed with Visual Studio subscriptions and MSDN Platforms with active SA (“Authorized Users”) may access Azure Virtual Desktop Windows, and Windows Server virtual machines running in Customer's Microsoft Azure accounts for development and test purposes. Customer’s end users may also access Azure Virtual Desktop Windows, and Windows Server virtual machines initiated by Authorized Users to perform acceptance tests or provide feedback.

Azure Virtual Desktop Per User Access Operating System  

Universal Terms. The following Universal License Terms for all Software do not apply to the Azure Virtual Desktop per user access operating system software: Rights to Use Other Versions and Lower Editions; Software Assurance; Outsourcing Software Management.

Windows 365 Operating System

Universal Terms. The following Universal License Terms for all Software do not apply to the Windows 365 operating system software: Rights to Use Other Versions and Lower Editions; Software Assurance; Outsourcing Software Management.

License Model

Desktop Operating Systems

Device License

  1. Customer may install one copy of the software on a Licensed Device or within a local virtual hardware system on a Licensed Device for each License it acquires.
  2. Customer may use the software on up to two processors.
  3. Local use is permitted for any user.
  4. Remote use is permitted for the Primary User of the Licensed Device and for any other user from another Licensed Device or a Windows VDA Licensed Device.
  5. Only one user may access and use the software at a time.
  6. Customer may connect up to 20 devices to the Licensed Device for file sharing, printing, Internet Information Services, Internet Connection Sharing or telephony services.
  7. An unlimited number of connections are allowed for KMS activation or similar technology.

Adobe Flash Player

The software may include a version of Adobe Flash Player. Customer agrees that its use of the Adobe Flash Player is governed by the license terms for Adobe Systems Incorporated at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=248532. Adobe and Flash are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.


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