Overview of Microsoft Windows 10
The digital world seems to be divided on whether to pay for software or enjoy the gratis services they provide, albeit with some limitations. The reality of this conundrum was unveiled through numerous comments and reactions from various tech enthusiasts on Linus Media Group’s YouTube video titled “Introducing AMD’s Threadripper 2 2990WX CPU”. Discussions stemmed from the Windows activation watermark that unknowingly resurfaced time after time on videos.
Possibly expressing your collective amusement, annoyance, and disbelief, numerous comments reflected bewilderment at why an established organization like Linus Media Group would leave the Windows watermark visible, indicating a non-activated version of Windows. After all, prominent sponsors back the Group, like CableMod, which presents an array of options for customizable RGB backplates to amplify the aesthetics of GPUs and SSDs.
Apparently, failing to activate a Windows license seems paradoxical, considering it seems logical to invest in a legitimate Windows copy. But, let’s delve into why the decision to maintain an unactivated Windows version makes sense for Linus Media Group and possibly many other tech organizations.
Considering the frequency with which we swap hardware configurations in devices, such as RAM, CPUs, motherboards, or even graphic cards, expecting Windows to remain stable and activated seems like a far-fetched idea. Changes in hardware configurations alter the unique identifiers Microsoft’s activation servers associate with your PC. This leads to Windows deactivation, compelling users to undertake the annoying task of reactivation.
In the past, this meant a tedious, time-consuming, and certainly irritating procedure involving Microsoft’s activation hotline, automated reactivation process errors, and a draining conversation with a representative that would lead nowhere. It seemed unreasonable to purchase a new Windows license every time hardware changed, especially for tech organizations consistently swapping hardware for testing purposes.
The 2013 shut-down of TechNet, a software subscription service, presented yet another challenge for regular hardware testers. The subsequent activation troubleshooter method, though more efficient, still has its drawbacks and may lead to exhausting the activation limit.
It leads us to consider gray market software or non-legit activations, which whilst does the job, doesn’t exactly comply with Microsoft’s End User License Agreement (EULA). This might not bother those who require only to remove the watermark; however, remember, not adhering to EULA doesn’t make the practice legit.
In our case and many others who continuously test out different hardware configurations, leaving the software unactivated forever seems like the best solution. Utilizing the built-in function for testing on Windows, by clicking ‘skip’ instead of entering a product key, it allows us to proceed with the process without any hiccups.
Simple, we still receive Windows updates, no performance impact on our hardware, and time saved from tussling with reactivations. As an added bonus, we have licenses that remain untouched and we can share these test bench experiences to create better-informed observers like you.
Certainly, seeing the watermark might create a ripple of fresh comments on future videos, or maybe this has helped illuminate the context for the watermark’s existence. Rest assured, the watermark’s presence isn’t about scrimping a dime on Windows 10, but about simplifying the complexities that come with consistently switching hardware for testing purposes.