Microsoft Improves Windows 10 Activation Process – Brings Back the Product Keys

Microsoft released Windows 10 build 10565 to the Fast Ring Windows Insider members earlier today. With this latest build, among several other enhancements and improvements, Microsoft has also simplified Windows 10 activation process for the users of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 machines.

windows 10 activation

New Windows 10 activation process lets you use earlier editions' product keys:

Windows 10 Insider Preview 10565, first preview since September 18, comes with a ton of major improvements and feature enhancements. These include feature additions in the Cortana digital assistant, Edge browser, and the introduction of universal Skype apps for messaging, phone and video, among other system UI optimizations. The company has also significantly simplified the Windows 10 activation process of existing machines that are being upgraded to the latest operating system using the free upgrade offer.

Microsoft introduced a new activation process with Windows 10 release that didn't rely on product keys. Instead, the company started using a digital entitlement system to activate machines already running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 by creating a digital signature based on the system hardware. After this is done, users can clean install Windows 10 on the same machine without ever going back to the earlier versions of the operating system.

However, this is a little confusing to the users as the support forums show us. In a post on the official blog, Gabriel Aul of Microsoft shared that the company received "a lot of feedback from insiders" that insisted on making the activation process simpler. What about users who are doing the installation from scratch without first upgrading their machines to an eligible Windows version for a free upgrade. All they wanted was a simple key-based solution just the way it had been working before Windows 10 for years. Windows Insiders have certainly pushed the company as the latest build finally brings back the product keys to the Windows 10 activation process.

Here's an excerpt from Aul's blog post earlier today,

We have received a lot of feedback from Insiders on making it easier to activate Windows 10 on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows by using existing Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product keys. If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesn’t automatically activate, you can enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10 by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and selecting Change Product Key. If you do a clean install of Windows 10 by booting off the media, you can also enter the product key from prior Windows versions on qualifying devices during setup.

Windows 10 is expected to receive a major update later this year, which will also bring this new Windows 10 activation convenience to non-Insider consumers of the operating system. If you are a Windows Insider member, you can install the latest Windows 10 10565 build available in the Fast ring. You can read more about the features, bug fixes and known issues of this build here.

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