Downsides of running un-activated windows 10?

curtwagner1984

Commendable
Jan 7, 2017
2
0
1,510
0
Hello,

I wanted to know exactly what is the difference in functionality between activated and unactivated windows 10.

There are some old(2015) similar threads around here with answers along the lines of "Ye better get away from here, ye scurvy pirate" but with no actual answer.

Also, is running an un-activated windows 10 is illegal?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
i am not a lawyer so I don't know the full story. It was a conscious decision by someone in MS to let people run without entering a licence.

Probably had to do it this way because of the way activating a fresh install of win 10 works now. Because most users updated from a previous version of windows and that licence key no longer works once its upgraded, MS had to have a way for users to fresh install without knowing their key. So when they use a Win 10 installer, and get to the page asking for licence, they click "I don't have a key" and win 10 install will continue. PC will check on a MS server once PC installed to confirm that PC has a valid licence associated with it.

So this method allows you to install without a licence and run PC until such time you buy a key. I don't think MS were giving it away for free, they know some people will but vast majority will buy the key and not risk MS deciding at a later time to add restrictions to unactivated copies.. as they could at any time.
 
Reactions: lv2lrn4lf

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
There are mostly cosmetic differences between activated and unactivated win 10... some of them are mentioned in this post under cosmetic limitations: http://www.howtogeek.com/244678/you-dont-need-a-product-key-to-install-and-use-windows-10/

Apart from that, it works as if its activated, you get windows updates, etc.

win 10 will put a watermark on desktop after 30 days but until MS change their minds, you can run unactivated for as long as you like.

Not going into whether its legal or not, I expect MS doesn't care so much about individuals doing it but might have things to say about businesses doing it. They want people on 10 as its easier to support just 1 os over 3 or more.
 
Reactions: lv2lrn4lf

curtwagner1984

Commendable
Jan 7, 2017
2
0
1,510
0


Thank you for your quick response!

I'm trying to understand how could it be illegal(for individuals), after all it's an option provided by MS, there are no cracks or
questionable activators involved.
I am trying to understand if it's legal or not though, to me it seems legal because it an option MS provides you with, but if the limitations on unactivated windows are just cosmetic, de facto you are using a free version of windows
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
i am not a lawyer so I don't know the full story. It was a conscious decision by someone in MS to let people run without entering a licence.

Probably had to do it this way because of the way activating a fresh install of win 10 works now. Because most users updated from a previous version of windows and that licence key no longer works once its upgraded, MS had to have a way for users to fresh install without knowing their key. So when they use a Win 10 installer, and get to the page asking for licence, they click "I don't have a key" and win 10 install will continue. PC will check on a MS server once PC installed to confirm that PC has a valid licence associated with it.

So this method allows you to install without a licence and run PC until such time you buy a key. I don't think MS were giving it away for free, they know some people will but vast majority will buy the key and not risk MS deciding at a later time to add restrictions to unactivated copies.. as they could at any time.
 
Reactions: lv2lrn4lf

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS