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I have a version of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional which I obtained from MSDN Academic Alliance.

I wish to install it, but the following section in the MSDNAA EULA somewhat concerns me:

MSDNAA EULA

When you are no longer a registered student in a department that is a member of the
MSDN Academic Alliance, you may no longer receive updates for your personal use     
computer. However, you may continue to use previously installed software on your 
computer, provided you continue to follow program guidelines.

This message appears for all available software on the MSDN Academic Alliance site, however I would like to know if this section means that this version of Windows 7 Professional will no longer receive updates once I am no longer registered as part of the MSDNAA scheme?

More specifically, will I still receive things such as Windows updates, etc?

The main reason for asking is because a friend of mine installed Windows 7 Professional on his laptop and he told me that it was a "limited version" of Windows and did not have the full functionality.

Has anybody here been part of the MSDN Academic Alliance and downloaded/installed the Windows 7 Professional OS and if so, are you still able to use it just as well as before and do you receive updates even if you are no longer enrolled in the MSDNAA scheme?

Have you had any problems or does it appear to be just the same as any other version of Windows 7 Professional without any limitations?

Sorry for the long question - I hope that somebody is able to assist?

Thank you.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Key generated for you by MSDN-AA is a personal use key. Under terms of your academic department or college's subscription to MSDA-AA (STEM or Arts), while you are an enrolled student you are eligible for product updates, delivered as new installations from your departmental/college MSDN-AA administrator. So for example, when Windows-8 is released you'd be able to upgrade (or remove and clean install).

The MSDN-AA media IS fully functional media, your individual Key would allow you to reinstall/reactivate a limited number of times (I believe 3), but it in no way restricts your ability to maintain your installation. You can patch, upgrade hardware (with some limitations) reconfigure your system as you choose. The Windows Updates IS your preferred method of maintaining this non-managed stand alone Windows installation. If you had additional Microsoft Products (VS 2010, SQL Server 2008, etc.) same ability to maintain and patch.

The Microsoft activation servers track your personal key for each product--not by name but by activation use. Exceed usage (i.e. "share" the key and media), and it will be deactivated--locking you out of your future uses.

So if issued to you, you should have no worries about using the Windows 7 MSDN-AA media and product code/activation string, just keep track of your personal use and understand that the terms of your license change when you finish or leave school. Still legal to use and maintain it, but no longer under the MSDN-AA program--just like it says.

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I have two thoughts on this matter;

1) The License key is not unique and generated from Microsofts database of keys to provide to the MSDNAA therefore if you are not registered it shouldn't matter as Microsoft will not be able to know that you aren't registered as the key is valid for anyone really.

2) A unique key for you was generated and once your subscription with the MSDNAA is over your key will be void and you can not receive any updates.

from the EULA my thoughts would be that it may be a unique key for your account.

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I agree - they seem to be the two most probably scenarios; however, I would like to refer to the second point - do you think that this would mean that if you installed Windows 7 Professional, then you would not continue to receive updates? If so, do you think that it would be possible to purchase another licence key and apply that in order to continue to receive updates as usual? Thanks. –  SnookerFan Sep 11 '11 at 16:07
    
Yes you'll most likely be able to purchase another version and use that license key. It's just for activation purposes. –  Sandeep Bansal Sep 11 '11 at 16:08
    
I thought that that would be the case - now I have to decide whether to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional (from Windows 7 Home Premium) and risk not receiving any more Windows updates after a certain time, or just stick with Windows 7 Home Premium... –  SnookerFan Sep 11 '11 at 16:17
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