Microsoft is busy readying the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update and among the preparations the company has been making is to tweak the OS’ activation rules.
The announcement is deep inside the Windows 10 build 14371 release notes, which came out a few days ago. Unless you are a registered member of the Windows Insider Program, you will not be able to see these notes.
Of course, there is really nothing much that general users will pick from the licensing details. As usual, it includes a bunch of confusing terms, but we have a shorter version of the same that is better and easier to understand.
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 Anniversary Update with version 1607 will allow users to link their Microsoft accounts to their Windows 10 digital license. When you upgrade to the new version, the linkage will be automatically established, but you must also be signed in your Microsoft account. In case you own a local or domain account, this step remains optional. If anything, it is only applicable to those with the OS’ digital license.
In case you didn’t know, this group consists of those who have been taking advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10, which is set to end this coming month. Despite this change, there is nothing else changing about how Microsoft activates Windows-powered devices. The entire process will still rely on a unique installer ID that is based on info associated with the hardware that Windows 10 is being installed. Apparently, it is not possible to reverse the info since it’s tied to the specific hardware of the device and not any other Microsoft service or account.
When a product is key is entered for the first time, the Installer ID will be stored together with the activation key. This means that whenever you want to reinstall the same OS edition on this device, there won’t be any need for re-entering the product key as the activation process will happen automatically. This could also mean that this product key is tied to a given device, meaning it won’t be possible to re-use a given key on different hardware – installer IDs will probably clash.