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Microsoft Offers Get Genuine Windows: Full Operating Systems Versions Now Available

Microsoft Offers Get Genuine Windows: Full Operating Systems Versions Now Available

  • Comments 16
  • "Apple Macintosh" (by which I assume you mean OS X) is not a qualifying OS for retail upgrade versions of Windows. Do different rules apply under the Microsoft Software Donation Program, or for Volume License upgrade products generally?

    I had believed that a Get Genuine license could be used to install Windows on Mac hardware running Linux (either in a separate boot partition or a VM), but if an upgrade license would be the correct vehicle then I am certainly willing to follow that course.

    I suppose that if, an upgrade license is NOT an appropriate vehicle for putting Windows on a Mac, I could install Windows in a boot camp partition using upgrade or OEM media and then make the installation legit with Get Genuine, but that seems rather convoluted.

  • Hi Ben,

    We're investigating the answer to your question. Sorry it's taking a while. We're waiting to confirm with Microsoft about the Mac product rules. We'll post here as soon as we know more!




  • Thanks for working on this. If it should turn out that the "Get Genuine" program is not deemed to be an appropriate vehicle for putting Windows on Macs (even though a Mac that's been configured with a "boot into Linux" option would certainly seem to qualify under even the strictest possible reading of the program's terms), I hope that TechSoup and Microsoft will find some other way for Mac users to acquire full Windows licenses because there is a legitimate need.

  • I am also a Mac user and do not have a Window's operating system, but could use the Get Genuine and install it on Boot camp as mentioned by Ben. Thanks.

  • This is our situation also. We run Macs and unfortunately there are situations where we need Windows (Ugh).

  • Sorry for the delay in getting back to all the Mac users out there. We're trying to determine and confirm the process to make sure everything's on the up-and-up before advising you. Get Genuine is only available to request one time EVER so we don't want to steer you the wrong way. As soon as I hear more from our Microsoft folks, we'll update you here.




  • We have Windows XP Professional (legal) on a Windows computer that lost the original installation disks during a recent office move. Furthermore, this computer is not internet-connected and we have no plans to re-connect it online, prohibiting online upgrading/updating.

    We need a way to re-install in case of a crash. Any ideas on the best route for us? Thanks.

  • @BenFDC

    We’ve received confirmation from Microsoft that the Get Genuine products cannot be used on Macintosh hardware. However, the Upgrade Products can be used if you have a licensed installation of one of the following Operating Systems on a Macintosh machine: Windows Vista Enterprise, Business, or Ultimate; Windows XP Professional or Tablet PC; Windows 2000 Professional; Windows NT Workstation 4.0; or Windows 98 SE as listed in the Upgrade Product descriptions.


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  • Whoa. If I understand you correctly, if I have Windows Vista Home Basic installed on a Dell then I can use Get Genuine, but if I have Windows Vista Home Basic installed in a Boot Camp partition on my Mac, I can't. That makes no sense to me at all.

    Editorializing aside, though, this brings me back to my original question, which ties directly back to the question that was posed at the end of the recent webinar: is there a way to put Windows on a new Mac via the Microsoft Software Donation Program? There is a real need for this. There are times when Windows software is the software of choice, and there are still internet resources (such as Microsoft's Software Assurance eLearning materials) that can only be accessed via Windows.

    If Microsoft just isn't willing to play ball, maybe you folks can work something out with CodeWeavers to help out those of us who have Macs but need to run Internet Explorer from time to time.

  • This page gives the impression that "Apple Macintosh," without more, is indeed just as much a qualifying OS for a Windows 7 upgrade license under the charity volume licensing program as would be, say Windows 98 SE. Can you confirm?

  • Hi BenFDC,

     Thanks for your patience! We're still working out some of the content for the product pages, but we received confirmation that Microsoft will allow installation of the upgrade products on Apple Macintosh hardware even if you don't have an existing Windows OS license on the machine.

    Regarding your questions about Macs and GGS, In this case, the GGS products are specifically being offered GGS as a solution for Windows / PC machines only.

    I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions!


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  • This helps a great deal. Thank you, thank you, thank you. But since you ask, I do have additional questions. First, is this available only to install Windows in a Boot Camp partition, or can one use a Windows 7 Upgrade license to run a Windows VM on a Mac  under, say, VirtualBox or Parallels? And second, would installing Windows both ways—such as Boot Camp and a Parallels VM—require two separate licenses or only one? (I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that one, but I might as well find out for sure.)

    I want to thank both you and Microsoft for this wonderful program. I'm asking for clear guidance so that my organization can follow the rules to the letter.

  • It still isn't clear to me whether I can use a Windows 7 upgrade to run a WIndows VM on a Mac.  If there is no existing Windows OS on the Mac, is a Windows upgrade really able to put a full functional version of the Windows OS on my Mac to run as a VM?  In either Boot Camp or Parallels?  And I'll repeat BenFDC's question, would both of those installations count as a separate license.

    This is confusing because I normally think of an upgrade as requiring there to be an older version of the software already installed ... but Microsoft seems to be saying that for Mac computers (which can run Windows OS either in Boot Camp or a VM) no existing version is needed when installing an "upgrade" version.

  • I just tried installing Win 7 on a new MacBook Air running Parallels. I tried the Win 7 Professional 32-bit upgrade, 64-bit upgrade, and 64-bit full versions that I downloaded from the MS VLSC site. (I had purchased the donaled 32-bit upgrade last year but never installed it. Anyway, ALL failed. Has anyone found a way to successfully install? All error out in the DOS command window with messages like "no boot device is available."

  • @ cneurath

       I can understand that it seems a bit different from the standard upgrade licensing. But we have indeed confirmed with Microsoft that this is allowed in the licensing agreement. If you do decided to get the upgrade product, your best option is to not get the disk (because that IS specifically for upgrades) but to download the full version and make a bootable disk to use for installation.

    Please let us know if you have additional questions.


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