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So, if I'm reading Chris's summary of the upgrade path appropriately, my Win 7 Enterprise upgrade licenses (that I have courtesy of purchasing Vista Business Upgrade licenses with SA last June), are not even useful for upgrades within the Win 7 volume license line - ie, I cannot buy machines with Win 7 Pro OEM and upgrade them to Enterprise. Does that seem consistent with what others have said or read?
So my choices for Windows 7 are to either go with Pro across the office and download/install Pro from VLSC on existing machines, or standardize on Enterprise and buy new machines with Enterprise as well, or have a mix of new Pro machines and upgraded Enterprise machines. Blech.
Director of Information Technology
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
Thank you, Microsoft!
Essentially, yes. You can do the Windows Anytime Upgrades from Home products to Pro/Enterprise, but not TechSoup. I'm not positive about other volume licenses - check with your resellers to see if you can get charity pricing on a windows 7 pro or enterprise upgrade license that will cover upgrading from Windows 7 starter, home or home premium.
Chris Shipley Nutmeg Consulting
Would it be possible to upgrade XP to Windows 7? What is the possible licensing issue for this.
On TechSoup, the only available upgrade option for XP is from Windows XP Professional to Windows 7 Professional (or Enterprise). If you don't have Windows XP Professional, but have Windows XP Home, then purchase the Windows XP Professional Upgrade available on TechSoup because Windows XP Home is a qualifying product - this will come with Software Assurance and you will be able to download and install Windows 7 Professional.
There has to be a work around so that the upgrade keys through TechSoup for Win7 Pro can be used legitimately to upgrade Win7 Home licenses through the Anytime Upgrade path rather than clean install and having to reinstall the software.
I echo that there are many NGO clients of mine buying machines with Vista Home and now Win7 Home OS licenses who are then purchasing upgrades through TechSoup (because I help them organize that in partnership with TS) and then we spend a billion hours trying not to wipe out the transferred data and settings.
Joe public can buy an anytime upgrade for Win7 pro, insert the key and watch the magic happen like an update... keeping all their crap. There has to be a really smart TSoup groupie that has figured out how to make this magic happen with the TS licenses.
As you can see, this discussion has been going on since Windows 7 was release in October 2009. Since all of the products and licenses provided by Microsoft are through their business platform (Volume Licensing) the license agreements do not provide any options for upgrading Home editions to Professional. Our content team was working for months with Microsoft to provide the information about Windows 7 that has since been posted on our website including the legal upgrade paths. Unfortunately, there are no legal workarounds for this situation.
Autumn Teeter | Forum Moderator for TechSoup Customer Service
How about setting aside the "workaround" challenge and other trick solutions.
Many nonprofits purchased off-the-shelf computers with vista home premium (or basic) over the past several years because they did the job and there was little choice other than going to the far more expensive "business" computer world.
Given VISTA's "sterling" performance, many small low budget nonprofits would benefit from an upgrade to Windows 7 - not necessarily Professional - I'm sure that the home premium version of Windows 7 would be just fine and far better than VISTA.
These same nonprofits, often small and low-budget, are also the ones most in need of a seamless, simple transition from one operating system to another.
Is there a possibility of Techsoup (again) talking to Microsoft about potential availability of Windows 7 home premium Upgrade for Techsoup members?
The premise of this suggestion may be wrong; MS could perfectly well allow upgrade from Vista or 7 HP to 7 Pro, at no greater cost to themselves; they allowed upgrade to XP Pro from home OSes, and they could do it for 7. (OTOH, as you suggest, W7 HP could work nicely for small workgroups who can work without everything controlled from a domain server.)
From a marketing perspective, the licensing restrictions are perverse -- they do not benefit MS and they alienate many NPO clients. I saw the comment today that MS is a marketing company that incidentally makes software, but they seem to have lost their marketing marbles with this scheme -- maybe just in time for a lot of people to explore alternative OSes in lieu of (1) paying too high a tribute or (2) facing criminal penalties for bending the licensing rules.
(In practical terms, tho', see if you can "upgrade" some legacy version of Windows (even if not installed on any hardware) to XP Pro licenses, and then, without installing XP, you could upgrade to W7 Pro. Also be aware that you do not want the DVD from Microsoft that is available here, because you cannot do a clean install with that DVD -- another perverse trick that does no good to MS and creates bad will among users. Once you have the licenses, you can download the DVD(s) or, maybe, buy a better DVD from MS at a somewhat higher price)
Though we absolutely understand the situation that many nonprofits find themselves in with Home editions of Windows Operating Systems, we must also keep in mind the method of delivery that Microsoft has put into place for their donated products to nonprofits: the Volume Licensing Service Center. This was set up initially for Microsoft business customers and with that being said, is geared towards businesses which, in general, do not work with products specifically made for home use. These products are simply not offered through the Volume Licensing Service Center.
In the past, Microsoft has offered Windows XP Home Edition through the Donated Computer Operating System program, but it looks like that is being phased out and we do not have any information about whether that, or more recent full license operating systems will be made available.
I suggest posting your suggestion to our Product Wishlist, checking on the Microsoft website for the Anytime Upgrade options and looking at options with Microsoft Charity Resellers.
Autumn, thanks for the reply to this. What liparoth suggests and what Jesse points out is that in the past, the Windows XP Professional Upgrade that Microsoft donated via TechSoup allowed you to upgrade from home-based operating systems. That was licensed through the volume licensing program, no problems.
However, after Autumn's message I thought - well if it weren't a donation, could I upgrade if I bought through Volume Licensing? Did Microsoft single TechSoup donations out and say "No" to upgrade Home based OS? The answer is - no. They decided their new licensing scheme will force you to pony up more dough. Your ONLY option for upgrading is either XP Home to the XP Pro upgrade (however long that is offered) or the Windows Anytime Upgrade. Take a look at this official Windows 7 volume licensing information page from Microsoft.
So, TechSoup can probably ask, and we would love to hear that you are making efforts toward this, but the likely response is "No, we aren't changing our whole licensing scheme for Windows 7 just for you guys."
So, workarounds it is! This is Microsoft's way of "educating" people that need "business operating systems" to pay for them, I guess. Is it proactive and user-friendly? No.
Chris & All,
Thanks for the link! You are right in assuming that it is highly unlikely the licensing agreements will change though there's still a possibility of getting full version DCOS but since that is outside of the Volume Licensing Center, I am really not sure if that will continue. We are in talks with our partners on a regular basis discussing a number of topics from the products that are made available to eligibility. Since you and I have participated in many of the same threads, I'm sure you've noticed that I try to remind others participating of the same restrictions and guidelines and though I know I am often repeating myself, the reality of the situation is this: The decision to HAVE a donation program and what is made available and to whom sits with our partners. We are here to provide a platform through which nonprofits from around the world have an opportunity (not a guarantee) to receive donated software and hardware. Many of these programs offer products to assist nonprofits with their technology needs, but not necessarily to cover all of them. And part of our mission, as an organization, is to try and provide a wide range of donation programs, resources, articles and discussions to try and help organizations find and use the technology they need to help further their missions. Of course this is not a perfect system and there is still much room for improvement and though it can be challenging, we really are doing the best that we can.
I'm very confused. With a valid XP pro license key, will the Windows 7 Pro upgrade available on Tech Soup upgrade Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Pro?
Long story... I'd planned to downgrade the Windows 7 Home Premium laptops we just ordered to Windows XP Pro, but discovered last night that Windows 7 blocked the install, so it's going to be trickier than I originally thought. I never imagined I couldn't do a downgrade over Windows 7.
We either need 7 Pro so we can use the XP compatibility mode, or go back to XP, since we can't afford to replace our other software and devices. I've talked to others who have had to spend so much replacing software and peripherals after moving to 7.
I think that in order to answer your question I need some clarification. So you bought some machines that included Windows 7 Home, and tried to "downgrade" them to XP professional? If this is the case, this too is not allowed because the Home and Professional products are in different product families. As far as I can tell, you'll need to find an option outside of TechSoup - possibly the AnyTime Upgrade that Microsoft offers or check with the vendor you bought the machines from for options they may have available.
I had no idea they were considered different product families until now... XP was so much simpler. The 7 home Premium machines were a last-minute substitution as the original XP Pro/7 Pro machines we'd ordered were on permanent backorder. The sales rep didn't ask if we'd be connecting to a server, and I didn't realize I needed to ask. Had I known we couldn't downgrade, I'd never have ordered the 7 Home Premium machines. We can't afford the $90 a copy (x 6) for the Anytime upgrade I've seen advertised.
We run MS Exchange 2000 and Small Business Server 2000, so leaving them Home Premium isn't really an option. I'm going to have to find a solution... we can't return them.
I suppose I should add that the original machines which had XP Pro on them will be wiped clean and recycled, so techincally those licenses would be freed up for installation again.
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