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I'm an MSDN subscriber, and as such I have access to all Microsoft applications for development and testing purposes.

However, when I go to download Windows 8 Pro, I find downloads for the following

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Debug/Checked builds for the above
  • N versions of the above (EC silliness still in effect)
  • x86 and x64 versions of the above


  • Windows 8 Pro VL (x86, x64 and N versions)

But every version of Pro has the following notice

This product is not available at your subscription level. Learn More

The link leads to a not-very-helpful page with TL;DR and nothing about what "VL" is and why I can't download Pro!

What is going on? Why can't I download Windows 8 Pro?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

The "VL" in "Windows 8 Pro VL" means "Volume Licensing." It is only available for Volume Licensing customers only. Which you probably aren't, if you're reading this.

Windows 8 Pro is actually bundled within Windows 8, the only difference being that you need to use a different key.

This information is hidden within the Details of the "Windows 8 Pro VL" list item. The details of the Windows 8 list item only hints at this fact, saying

This file contains multiple products. Please refer to your product keys to determine which products are included with your subscription.

In order to download and install Windows 8 Pro with your MSDN subscription:

  1. Log into MSDN and click the Downloads link
  2. Click the link for Windows 8, or view the complete list and search for Windows 8
  3. Click the download link for whichever flavor of Windows 8 you prefer (x86, x64, N or Not)
  4. As it downloads, click the "Product Keys" button
  5. Click the "Get a Key" button for Windows 8 Pro

enter image description here

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I think the OP's issue is that when you go to the downloads, there's no Windows 8 Pro download that's not a VL. – ernie Nov 1 '12 at 16:21
@ernie He is the OP ;) – Louis Nov 1 '12 at 16:40
@Louis Hah . . . definitely a sign that I need to go and get some coffee ;) – ernie Nov 1 '12 at 16:49

The Windows 8 download will allow for both standard and Pro. The version will be determined by the product key you enter.

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