Up until November 17, users who had formerly been using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 could upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
However, not all users who wish to access Windows 10 will be able to do so without incurring a cost. If you’re looking to install Windows 10 on a device that did not previously have an activated Windows plan, or are upgrading to Windows 10 Pro, then a new product key will have to be purchased. Below, we’ve put together a complete guide to buying a Windows 10 product key, so you can be sure of a smooth, simple process from start to finish.
First things first…
Before you begin looking to buy a Windows 10 product key, it’s helpful to decide which version of the software you need. You can choose from:
- “Home” – a version of Windows 10 is suitable for domestic or everyday use
- “Pro” – a version of Windows 10 is more advanced, features additional security features, and is considered to be more suitable for professional or office use
- “Pro For Workstations” – a version of Windows 10 for advanced users and/or businesses who are particularly in need of functionality related to heavy workloads
For those looking to buy a Windows 10 Pro key, it is more important than ever to get the right product as there is a huge security element to take into account with the added functionality.
Buyer beware! Buying a Windows 10 Pro Key
Unfortunately, when looking to buy a Windows 10 Pro key, there is a high risk that you will encounter a scam. Many businesses and individuals seek to sell “discount” Windows 10 product keys; eBay and other auction sites are the typical marketplace for these cut-price options.
It is important to note that, often, these reduced prices are legitimate, and the product key will work exactly as advertised. However, there is an undeniable element of risk, so try to keep the following in mind…
- A small discount is reasonable if buying from a seller; a huge discount is not, and is a red flag that the product keys being sold are not necessarily genuine.
- Only buy from sellers where you have the opportunity for recourse if the key does not work as advertised; for example, you and your business are protected by the terms and conditions of the site you buy from, or the payment method you use.
- Always research a seller or website offering to sell Windows 10 Pro keys, particularly noting your options for contacting the seller. If something goes awry, you want as many contact options as possible available to you; any seller who only provides an email address (rather than a phone number or details of active, well-maintained social media accounts) is usually best to be avoided.
However, a simple fact remains true: while there are ways and means of protecting yourself against scams when looking to buy a discount Windows 10 Pro key, the unfortunate truth is that there is always the possibility something may go awry. In the worst case scenario, you may find yourself purchasing a product key that simply doesn’t work, losing your money, and harming your business in the process – which is far from ideal. The decision is ultimately yours, but if you are concerned, then it’s usually best to…
Consider buying direct from Microsoft
If you are wondering where to buy a Windows 10 Pro key, (or a Pro for Workstations key, or Home key for that matter), then the obvious answer is also arguably the best: you can buy from Microsoft themselves via the Microsoft store. At the time of writing, the Pro version was available for $199.00, and Pro For Workstations the most expensive of the three options at $309.00.
In terms of price comparison, PCDestination sells Windows Pro for $54.99 – a significant saving, but we cannot vouch for it, and buying from non-Microsoft sellers carries significant risks. In contrast, buying directly from Microsoft means you can be sure you are purchasing an up-to-date, fully licensed version of the software, while also protecting your investment and your business.
There are a number of sites and online auction sellers that allow you to purchase a Windows 10 Pro key, but these should be approached with extreme caution. The discounts can be hugely tempting, but there is no way of knowing for sure that the key you receive will actually work – or, in fact, that you will even receive a key at all.
If you are looking for the simplest – though not the cheapest – method of purchasing a Windows 10 Pro key, then buying directly from Microsoft is undoubtedly the best choice. However, if you do wish to buy from a non-Microsoft seller, then follow the tips above, use your judgement, and always remember the golden rule: if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.