News from Windows Insider Blogs
I'd been complaining for at least a few years for various reasons about the lack of Downloadable Installation .isos in particular for Windows 7 OEM and Windows 8.x OEM licenses. It seems Microsoft have read all my complaints and made a move to deploy Windows 10 TH2 and later in a manner I would call proper Digital Deployment of Windows 10.
Good news from Gabe Aul…
"Device activation improvements: We have received a lot of feedback from Insiders on making it easier to activate Windows 10 on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows by using existing Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product keys. If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesn't automatically activate, you can enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10 by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and selecting Change Product Key. If you do a clean install of Windows 10 by booting off the media, you can also enter the product key from prior Windows versions on qualifying devices during setup. Refer to the Insider Hub for more information on these activation improvements including requirements."
Windows 10 TH2 Beta Download
The Windows 10 TH2 Beta Build 10565 .iso is available here:
Windows 7 OEM Key Test
Test 1: The Windows 10 TH2 Beta Build 10565 Pro .iso accepted the Windows 7 Professional OEM key from my Windows 7 Professional COA:
Inputting the Windows 7 Professional OEM key from the COA took me to the license agreement screen:
This means Windows 7 OEM keys on the COA should also be usable to activate Windows 10.
Windows 8.x UEFI BIOS Embedded SLP OEM Key Test
Test 2: The Windows 10 TH2 Beta Build 10565 Home .iso automatically input the Windows 8.1 (Home) UEFI BIOS SLP key and took me straight to the license agreement screen.
This means that Windows 8.x OEM SLP keys including "with Bing" Editions should automatically be input with Windows 10 Installation media and activate.
Test 3: The Windows 10 TH2 Beta Build 10565 Pro .iso didn't acknowledge the Windows 8.1 (Home) UEFI BIOS SLP key and asked for a product key.
The wording of this screen will cause confusion for those with UEFI BIOS Embedded SLP keys and it would be better if the installation media recognised the fact that there was a Windows 8.1 (Home) UEFI BIOS SLP key and stated:
Windows 10 Home Product Key Detected. Exit setup and begin installation from Windows 10 Home Installation Media or Input a Windows 10 Pro key to change Edition.
Previous Installation Feedback
Previously feedback was given in great detail by myself and others here:
Since Microsoft have taken this feedback into account and also made downloadable installation media for all Windows 10 OEM and Retail Editions. The digital distribution of Windows 10 is now almost flawless certainly on par to what we recommended.
Now the only problem is those systems with the faded Windows 7 COAs however if a system has a faded COA and has previously been upgraded to Windows 10 then it can be reinstalled without a product key and as it is already a Windows 10 Device will activate automatically online.
The only systems that will have a problem with the Windows 10 Upgrade are those with a failed Windows 7 Installation e.g. from software corruption or a failed hard drive/solid state drive and a faded COA. Fortunately for most Windows 7 systems Dell have shielded most COAs in the battery compartment to prevent the COA from fading.