Get Windows 10 for Your Library

This post originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Find out how to upgrade your library's computers to Windows 10 today!  

Windows 10 is here! For many organizations, the upgrade is free. Learn how to upgrade your systems.

If You Have Active Software Assurance, Use It to Get Your Free Upgrade

Windows 10 will be available for download through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) on August 3, 2015. If you requested a Windows upgrade license through TechSoup after August 3, 2013, you have active Software Assurance for that license, and you'll be able to download the upgrade for free on that date. See our instructions for downloading software from the VLSC.

If you have active Software Assurance, it's important to upgrade through the VLSC rather than through Microsoft's other free upgrade routes. Why? Upgrading through the VLSC is the only way to get Windows 10 Enterprise and keep your Software Assurance benefits like access to e-learning courses. Even if you don't use the Enterprise edition currently, you'll keep your license rights to that edition if you want to upgrade from Pro to Enterprise later on.

If You Have Windows 7 or 8.1 Without Software Assurance, You Can Get a Free Upgrade to Windows 10 Directly from Microsoft

Any edition of Windows 7 or 8.1 is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 directly from Microsoft starting July 29, 2015. You can upgrade any time before July 29, 2016. After that date, free upgrades will no longer be available.

If you upgrade through Microsoft's free method, your existing licenses will be replaced with a device-based license entitlement. Be sure you don't have active Software Assurance before you use this method, as you'll lose those benefits once you replace your licenses with these entitlements.

If You Need Windows 10 Enterprise, Request a License Through TechSoup

If you're a nonprofit or library that's eligible for Microsoft donations through TechSoup but you don't have Windows upgrade licenses with active Software Assurance, the easiest way to get a donation of Windows 10 Enterprise is to request a Windows Operating System Upgrade license through TechSoup. Windows 10 Enterprise will be available for download through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) on August 3, 2015.

Windows 10 Enterprise is not available through any of Microsoft's free upgrade offers.

If you don't have an operating system that's eligible for an upgrade license, you might be eligible to request aWindows Pro Full Operating System -- Get Genuine license first to obtain Windows 10 Pro. Then, you can request an upgrade license through TechSoup to get the Enterprise edition.

Summary of Windows 10 Upgrade Options for Nonprofits

Refer to the table below to learn how to upgrade to Windows 10. Or check out Microsoft's How To Upgrade to Windows 10 for more information.

If you have…

You should…

Windows 7 Starter or Home or Windows 8.1 Standard edition and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Home

Get a free Windows 10 Home upgrade directly from Microsoft starting July 29, 2015. You have until July 29, 2016 to upgrade for free. Your existing licenses will be replaced with a device-based license entitlement.

Windows 7 Starter or Home or Windows 8.1 Standard edition and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise

Home editions of Windows aren't eligible for Windows upgrade licenses through TechSoup. You'll need to request a Windows Pro Full Operating System -- Get Genuine license through TechSoup and download Windows 10 Pro software from the VLSC on August 3, 2015.

If you want Windows 10 Enterprise, you'll need to request a Windows Operating System Upgrade license in addition to the full operating system license.

Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro

If you have active Software Assurance you candownload Windows 10 Pro from the VLSC on August 3, 2015, and maintain your Software Assurance benefits.

If you don't have active Software Assurance, you can get a free Windows 10 Pro upgrade directly from Microsoft on July 29, 2015. You have until July 29, 2016, to upgrade for free. Your existing licenses will be replaced with a device-based license entitlement.

Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise

If you have active Software Assurance you candownload Windows 10 Enterprise from the VLSC on August 3, 2015, and maintain your Software Assurance benefits.

If you don't have active Software Assurance, you can request a Windows Operating System Upgrade license through TechSoup and download your software from the VLSC on August 3, 2015.

Windows 7 or 8.1 Enterprise and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise

If you have active Software Assurance you candownload Windows 10 Enterprise from the VLSC on August 3, 2015, and maintain your Software Assurance benefits.

If you don't have active Software Assurance, you can request a Windows Operating System Upgrade license through TechSoup and download your software from the VLSC on August 3, 2015.

Windows 7 or 8.1 Enterprise and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro

If you have active Software Assurance you can download Windows 10 Pro from the VLSC on August 3, 2015, and maintain your Software Assurance benefits.

If you don't have active Software Assurance, you have two options:

  1. Reinstall Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro using your original license and then get a free Windows 10 Pro upgrade directly from Microsoft on July 29, 2015. You have until July 29, 2016, to upgrade for free. Your existing licenses will be replaced with a device-based license entitlement.
  2. Or, request a Windows Operating System Upgrade license through TechSoup and download your software from the VLSC on August 3, 2015.

 

Windows Vista Enterprise, Business, or Ultimate; Windows XP Professional or Tablet PC; Windows 2000 Professional; Windows NT Workstation 4.0; or Windows 98 SE and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise

Request a Windows Operating System Upgradelicense through TechSoup and download Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise from the VLSC on August 3, 2015.

An unlicensed operating system; the Home Premium, Home Basic, or Starter editions of Windows Vista; the Home or Starter editions of Windows XP; Linux, FreeDOS, or other operating systems and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro

Request a Windows Pro Full Operating System -- Get Genuine license through TechSoup and download Windows 10 Pro software from the VLSC on August 3, 2015.

Microsoft's #UpgradeYourWorld Initiative

Microsoft is investing $10 million in organizations committed to improving the world. As part of the Windows 10 launch, they've chosen nine global nonprofits to receive $500,000 cash investments and want your help in choosing the tenth. Visit Microsoft's website to learn more. Microsoft is also giving out $50,000 in cash investments to 100 local nonprofits.