Windows 8.1 Pro is the professional edition of the latest Microsoft operating system. This 64-bit version will operate only on a computer with a 64-bit processor and 64-bit drivers.
This donation provides one upgrade license for Windows 8.1 Pro. You should request one upgrade license for each computer you are upgrading to Windows 8.1. If you have Windows 8, the Windows 8.1 upgrade is free from the Volume Licensing Service Center. See the Product Use Rights Summary for Desktop Operating Systems for specific licensing details.
Benefits for Organizations
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
Upgrade License Only
Only certain editions of the Windows operating system qualify for upgrade licenses under TechSoup's Volume Licensing agreements with Microsoft. See the system requirements to make sure your device qualifies.
If your device doesn't meet the requirements for an upgrade product, you might be eligible for a full operating system license through Microsoft's Get Genuine Windows Agreement for Small and Medium Organizations program.
- Modern interface: You can navigate the new tile-based interface with a touch-enabled computer or a traditional mouse-and-keyboard setup. You can also choose to view a traditional Windows desktop with a Start menu similar to those in previous versions of Windows.
- Apps: Apps give you quick access to applications like Mail, Calendar, SkyDrive, Photos, People, and services like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. When not in use, apps running in the background suspend automatically, so they don't consume system resources and power.
- Cloud integration: Your apps, settings, and files saved to the cloud-based Microsoft SkyDrive will automatically become accessible on any Windows 8.1 device after you log in with your Microsoft account.
- Enhanced security: Windows Defender in Windows 8.1 includes antivirus capabilities to protect computers from viruses, Trojan horses, rootkits, and other malware, in addition to spyware and adware. The software detects threats in real time and automatically updates malware signatures.
- Built-in virtualization: Exclusive to 64-bit versions of Windows 8.1, Client Hyper-V allows users with virtualization experience to create and manage virtual machines without installing a server operating system.
- Work Folders: You can keep local copies of your work files on your devices and automatically synchronize them with the server without the need for firewall client sync support.
Installing Windows 8.1
Unless you are upgrading from Windows 7, this installation requires a "clean install." This means that if the computer has an existing operating system, you must remove all operating system files and applications, install the system, and reinstall the applications. For complete information, see TechSoup's How to Upgrade to Windows 8.
Windows 8.1 Pro requires significant system resources, as detailed in the system requirements. It is likely that PCs currently running an operating system older than Windows Vista might not be able to run Windows 8.1. For a good start on evaluating whether to upgrade, see TechSoup's Should You Upgrade to Windows 8? Questions to Consider.
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 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.
- 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.
Under the Software Assurance program, you have the right to install any new release of products covered in the agreement during the term of your coverage.