Windows 10: how to get a license

Promises don’t always last forever. In early 2015, Microsoft announced Windows 10 as its last operating system. But then, a few years later, not only came Windows 11, but the company’s clear desire that you please upgrade to Windows 11. You will be able to continue using Windows 10 for a while, but Microsoft has officially stopped selling it. However, there are ways to get a Windows 10 license now.


Buying used Windows 10 licenses? It works!

You can often get a Windows 10 key online for a few bucks, but that puts you in legal trouble because the key isn’t licensed (more on that below). Therefore, a Windows 10 license is required! And you can still get it in different ways.

On the one hand, there are really reputable sellers who sell “used” licenses with a Windows key. For example, based in Düsseldorf, which according to its website, sells not only keys, but also licenses. It costs about 15 euros for Windows 10.

If there are any problems with this, you will have a German dealer who you can take responsibility for issuing you a license.

Older computer hardware often comes with a Windows key and license. (Photo: Pexels/cottonbro studios)

You’re safer if you buy second-hand (!) defective hardware, such as laptops or old PCs that still have a Windows license sticker with a setup key or DVD. There are countless such calculators on the Internet, starting from a few euros.

European legislation supports you when buying a used car. This involves the transfer of the software license to the purchaser of the used equipment, if it is part of the original delivery.

Unlike the illegal sale of cheap Windows 10 keys, you buy the hardware, including the license, and then transfer it individually to a new device. The differences between a used license from a broken computer and a cheap internet stick are minimal – but from a legal point of view, you’re on the safe side by buying used equipment.

If you want to upgrade to Windows 11 later, thanks to Microsoft’s goodwill, you can do so for free in just a few steps and even bypass Windows 11’s pesky hardware requirements.

Attention: The key is not a license!

productthe key It is still available in large quantities for Windows 10. Microsoft has given away millions upon millions of keys to hardware manufacturers, software vendors, and other companies, some for a fraction of the market value of a “real” license that end users like you and me get. .

Microsoft Surface with Windows 10
Many prefer Windows 10 to the current version 11, but a free upgrade to the latest operating system is available. (Image: Microsoft)

You still pay 259 euros for Windows 10 Pro on the official Microsoft website. But a simple Google search will immediately bring up cheap deals.

Keys for Windows 10 Pro can be purchased for a little less than 4 euros, and for 15 euros on well-known software portals. Save up to 98.4% on Microsoft pricing!

If you go a little further, you will quickly see the curves. For example, we are talking about “Windows Key License” – or “License keys”. The product description almost never says “Windows License”.

The reason is simple: codes correspond to product keys, but no license.

Microsoft sells Windows in license packages to many companies. This contractually defines when the company can hand over the codes. For example, if you want to sell a PC or laptop. If Windows came pre-installed on your new computer, the operating system comes with this offer on the hard drive.

Service companies receive different license terms for, for example, replacing or upgrading existing workstations. If such a company resells Windows keys, the product can usually be activated.

But such behavior is against the contract between Microsoft and the company. Resale is simply not allowed.

Legal information from the eBay auction of Windows 10 keys.
Business with Win 10 keys is booming, especially on eBay. The fine print indicates that the product key is actually worthless.

At worst, Microsoft can remotely disable such an installation (after a few weeks) and legally force users to purchase an end-user license. By the way, dealers know this and often write in the fine print to make sure you’re getting a truly worthless unlicensed key. If there was any problem, you would just replace it.

The buyer does not know if it is really a key with one license or a product key for multiple activations. Dealers are not interested due to dumped purchase prices.

Microsoft is pretty comfortable with cheap Windows keys. Finally, the Windows installation allows you to create your own Edge browser and sell your own Office suite as a subscription.

In some cases, major buyers report sudden deactivations. These kinds of personal situations are annoying when they hit you.

Windows 10: the end of the program icon

According to the official Windows product page, Windows 10 will expire on January 31, 2023.

Windows 10 Pro from Microsoft is for sale.
€259 for Windows 10? Microsoft wants high prices for an outdated operating system. (with hardware from Microsoft)

But there are good reasons to keep trusting Windows 10. Unlike its successor, it has moderate system requirements and does not require the heavily criticized TPM 2.0 requirement.

Additionally, Microsoft is guaranteeing updates for the starved operating system until at least October 10, 2025.

And many have more usability in Windows 10 than Win 11. With the current system, you can adjust the appearance with just a few taps – but it still doesn’t come close to regular Win 10.

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