Legal downloads?


I posted some info about the project on the RPi Forum at and many forum members believe that the current way the Windows 10 ARM image is obtained is piracy.

What are the best arguments as to why this is not the case?

Give it a product key after installing?

Not with the activation. More with the how we are getting it. The

I thought that was from Microsoft servers where they just help bring it all together essentially? Only piracy if you are not using a valid key.

Yeah… it’s more that they don’t have an official download link on their website.
Also the weird warning about how you have only 15 minutes to 4 hours to download (if you choose “Default generation links.”) Which is admittedly off…

I call it official enough being on their servers. If Microsoft wanted to protect it, they could simply require auth. Although this could make them think twice about their delivery model.

That is why I am worried about the 15 minute - 4 hour download thing. Maybe it was Auth?

Or maybe a form of web token that expires but I do not believe it’s accessing any protected resources. Microsoft just expires the links after a while.

I would also feel better if this was on MSDN at least but may be a ways out for that. Microsoft will never support what we are doing. Fighting us is a form of support :).

Well, they did make Windows 10 for IoT.

I have a feeling they knew the market before they ever released IoT. But it did make some people feel like they care slightly about the community and was probably the win they wanted.

I think that any of us would be fine with activating Windows anyway. Nobody has tested a licensed version yet to the best of my knowledge.

I am trying to refute a person who is quite, to be honest, biased against the project.

Anything else I can perhaps offer?

It’s certainly a grey area still at this time and it may not be a good project for everyone. Who knows? Could be like Hackintosh where all support is community driven or they could fully embrace it - either way I’m sure Microsoft will sell a few more licenses due to this as nobody is trying to pirate software (I hope).

Maybe I’ll do some activation testing in the AM although I’m surprised no one else has tried yet.

Okay, I installed it, and WHAT THE HECK? Literally, right after installation! How is that possible? (This did happen directly after plugging in the Ethernet, but I did not use a MS Account during the install.)

Update: Maybe MS added source to OneCore which disables activation on Raspberry Pi so as to support Windows 10 IoT. Just a theory.

Well, apparently, it is a licensed version. It activated all by itself. I bet this is some Windows IoT Core exemption…

I can just see it now.

    $windowsActivated = true;

I dont think it uses PHP Variables! /s
Ok, but thats very plausable.

Notice the license key is 3V66T. This is the generic Windows 10 Pro product key, VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. Curious…

We have seen this with “Multiple Edition” ISO’s in the past where online activation fails until you give it a real key.

It takes MSDN W10 Pro keys without a problem although I haven’t had time to get it online or test full activation yet.

18334 just also auto-activated! Fresh install!