The Microsoft Get Genuine Windows Agreement for Small and Medium Organizations offers full Windows operating systems, not upgrades, to nonprofits and public libraries who find themselves out of compliance with software licensing because of software piracy or other licensing issues.
This donation provides a full Windows 8.1 Pro operating system license through the Get Genuine program to organizations that meet the eligibility criteria below. You should request one license for each computer on which you will install it. It will operate only on a computer with a 64-bit processor and 64-bit drivers. If you have Windows 8, the Windows 8.1 upgrade is free from the Volume Licensing Service Center.
This donation is available only to correct scenarios in which an organization has an existing PC with one of the following operating systems installed on it:
- Counterfeit, pirated, or otherwise illegal, unlicensed, or improperly licensed Windows operating system
- The standard edition of Windows 8 or 8.1
- Home Premium, Home Basic, or Starter editions of Windows 7 or Windows Vista
- Home or Starter editions of Windows XP
- Linux, FreeDOS, or other operating system
Once computers have genuine Windows, users can keep their current operating system up-to-date with the latest service packs and security updates by downloading them with Windows Update.
Benefits for Organizations
You should consider requesting this product if you need to install the latest Windows operating system on a PC that falls under one of the licensing scenarios described above.
You can use Windows 8.1 Pro to:
- Protect computers from viruses and other malware with Windows Defender
- Support a touch-screen interface when working with individuals who cannot use a traditional mouse and keyboard
- Restore malfunctioning computers to the base installation with Reset and Refresh functions
- More easily switch between and access additional display languages in a multilingual environment
Special Rules for Get Genuine Product Requests
- Eligible organizations may place only one request ever for Get Genuine products.
- Requests for Get Genuine products may not contain any other products.
- During check-out, the Get Genuine Windows Agreement for Small and Medium Organizations must be accepted on behalf of the organization.
Note: Since Get Genuine products are part of the Windows Desktop Operating Systems title group, an organization's request for them will reduce the number of operating system upgrade products it may request in its current two-year donation cycle.
Software Assurance Not Included
Get Genuine products do not include the Software Assurance benefits that come with most other Microsoft software donations. If an organization installs a Get Genuine product, that product will not have the benefit of receiving a free upgrade to a newer version of Windows when it is released in the future. However, the Get Genuine product will provide a computer with a legal base operating system upon which Windows upgrade products that include Software Assurance benefits offered through TechSoup can be installed. Additionally, organizations that request Get Genuine products will be able to downgrade their donation to earlier Windows OS versions at no cost through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
Installing Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1 Pro requires significant system resources, as detailed in the system requirements. For help evaluating whether you need to upgrade your computer before installing Windows 8.1, see TechSoup's Should You Upgrade to Windows 8? Questions to Consider.
TechSoup recommends a "clean install" of the Windows operating system: The process is described in TechSoup's How to Upgrade to Windows 8.
Important Volume Licensing Information
With Windows 8.1, your organization can choose between two types of volume license keys for product activation: a Key Management Service (KMS) license key or a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). A Key Management Service (KMS) key for Windows 8.1 is available to your organization by default on the Microsoft Volume Licensing website; that is, this is the only type of key you will see unless you request a MAK.
A KMS key requires at least 25 computers on a network for activation. If your organization has fewer than 25 computers, you should request a MAK from the Volume Licensing website after receiving this product. For information about obtaining a MAK or deciding which type of key to use, see TechSoup's Volume Licensing Service Center — Product Keys page.
The administrative fee for this product is not refundable, and the product cannot be exchanged.
Obtaining This Product
Installing this product requires you to download the software from the Volume Licensing Service Center and enter a license key. You can download any available version or language for your product. After you download the software, learn how to install it or burn it to a disc for later use.
The license key allows you to install the product on as many computers as you have received licenses for. This quantity is specified in the first email you receive from TechSoup after requesting this product.
Expect three emails:
- When your donation request has been approved, TechSoup will send a message to your organization email address confirming the number of licenses you have requested. Make sure the organization email that is registered with TechSoup is up-to-date. Visit My Member Profile and verify the address in your active organization profile.
- Microsoft will send an email welcoming your organization to the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
- TechSoup will send an email with information about obtaining your license key and managing your donation at the VLSC. If you are new to the VLSC, you should wait for this email before you register there.