Windows 10

by Martin Hayes

They’ve finally done it! Microsoft’s free upgrades to Windows 10 ended on 31st July this year. From now on If you want to upgrade to or install windows 10 on your PC you have to pay for it. The cost is a penny short of £100 (inclusive of VAT).

Having bought a new computer in August, I decided to give my old machine to a family member, but I was a little concerned about wiping the old system and reinstalling Windows on it. The issues was that it was an upgrade from Windows 7 and I didn’t have a product key for Windows 10.

After some research online I discovered that Windows upgrades no longer have product keys, they have something called a Digital Licence or in Microsoft’s words “a digital entitlement in Windows 10 Version 1511”.

If you have a free upgrade to Windows 10, you can reinstall the same edition of Windows 10 on your device without entering a product key. During reinstallation, if you’re asked to enter a product key, you can skip this step. Windows 10 will automatically activate online after the installation is complete.

The reason you can do this is because Microsoft uses your hardware configuration to create the digital signature. If you install Windows 10 again on the same computer, their systems will recognise your machine and verify it automatically. Panic over.

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