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It’s official, Windows 7 is dead (assuming you haven’t purchased extended support). The odds are, if your clients were going to upgrade their PCs to new Windows 10 devices, they would have by now. But what about if a customer wants to simply do an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10? Let’s find out!

Windows 7

So as most of you know, the EOL statement basically means that there will be no further bug fixes, security patches or additional functionality for Windows 7, like when XP support ended (suspiciously around the time that the Heartbleed Bug was discovered). This means that for Windows 7, it’s all downhill from here.

Windows 10 Upgrade

If you’re using ConnectWise Automate, you can always use the script described in my post here. This script will upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 automatically if you wish. However, in this post we’re looking more into the logistics (and legalities) of it.

If a Windows device was purchased with a Windows 7 license and it is then upgraded to Windows 10, sometimes it will automatically activate with Windows, however, this isn’t strictly legal in all cases.

Looking back 4-5 years when Windows 10 was first being released the majority of Windows devices were being sold with Windows 10 Keys but downgraded to Windows 7. This meant that the OS would remain on Windows 7, but the entitlement was active for Windows 10. This is now called Digital Entitlement.

You can check if you’re activated using Digital Entitlement by opening System > About > Change the Product Key

Windows 10 Pro is activated with a Digital License. When Upgrading from Windows 7 to 10, This is one of the licensing methods.

The Digital License is also known by being referred to as imprinted in the BIOS and automatically tends to activate Windows 10 upon reinstallation if this is required.

How can I check from Windows 7?

Here’s where life gets easier! There’s a program you can use called ‘ShowKeyPlus’ by Superfly-Inc that provides you with the BIOS Key and entitlement information. You can follow their GitHub

MajorGeeks and other reputable sources also have copies of the download/installer if you wish to run it locally. The output shown below gives you an example of what to expect from the software. You can clearly see that the OEM Key is Windows 10 Professional.

ShowKeyPlus detailing the Windows 7 to Windows 10 OEM Key provided by the BIOS.

Microsoft 365

I’ve also seen on various forums that companies have been purchasing Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 E3 Licenses as this is said to have the upgrade rights from Windows 7 to Windows 10

Verdict

I’m probably late to the party with this post, however, I feel the information will still be relevant for a while. In a recent Kaspersky study, over 40% of businesses are still using Windows 7 and older OS. It’s only a matter of time before the hardware fails on this equipment. In each case I would seriously consider the age, specification and requirements of each machine that’s going to potentially be upgraded to Windows 10 as in most cases it’s simply not worth the cost/time. As always, if there’s anything we can add then please Contact Us!

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