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Nov 27 2023 07:00 AM - Nov 30 2023 11:30 AM (PST)
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Windows 10 Subscription Activation | E3

Brass Contributor

We have "Windows 10 E3" license from Enterprise agreement,
In our scenario we tested as follow:
Downloaded ISO from Microsoft site.

  1. Use macOS as host
  2. Install VM with Windows 10
  3. Create test user and give licenses EMS E3 + Win 10 E3 and make sure user excluded from Edition Upgrade policy;
    And our Windows 10 cannot receive Inherited Activation because host is macOS.
  4. After Windows 10 installed, used "work account", so device Joined to Azure AD (also tested by creating local admin first, to confirm that there is no activation at all)
  5. After login, see No Activation as it should, sync with Company Portal and reboot device
  6. After reboot device is Activated and Upgraded to Enterprise:

Windwos 10 E3 activated.png

Question then regards article:, about Requirements section:
"Windows 10 (Pro or Enterprise) version 1703 or later installed and activated on the devices to be upgraded."
Is it still the case, that must be activated by Pro license? How my Windows become activated then?

Also see this, but it is possible this will be shown all time until device unenrolled:
1. slmgr -dlv
2. License status: Notification


Or device is now activated and upgraded?

How to troubleshoot this?


3 Replies

@ITCTF: Interesting question so I thought I'd explore a potential answer.


From a pure technical standpoint, it's possible to directly install Windows 10 Enterprise as a VM on a device with macOS as the host and activate it using the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 subscription/license (as you've clearly demonstrated that).


From a licensing standpoint, Windows 10 Enterprise always requires a "full Windows operating system" license to upgrade from. Since it's a device running macOS, I found an article that states "the Apple Macintosh operating system is considered a Qualifying Operating System, meaning you can purchase the Windows 10 Pro Upgrade license or Windows 10 Enterprise Upgrade license for Macs that have a licensed and installed Mac operating system". It continues with a scenario where someone installs and runs Windows as a second full operating system under Apple Boot Camp on a Mac.


The requirement listed below requiring Windows 10 Pro (or Enterprise) version 1703 is required for the activation of the Windows 10 E3 subscription license. I believe version 1703 is where the functionality for activating the Windows 10 E3 subscription license via an Azure AD-joined device/user was added.


Here is the Microsoft licensing guide for "Licensing Windows and Microsoft Office for use on the Macintosh":


So, based on my understanding, you're fully compliant and Windows is successfully activated (and will continue to be so unless you unlicense the test user with the Windows 10 E3 subscription license).


Hope that helps!




@Justin Coffey 


I asked same question to the Microsoft Docs in GitHub, and my last question was, if I buy device with no BIOS OS license, what is behavior then and seems that device will be activated, see cases of:


So then this makes us confuse, between article and reality.

All those questions, because in a past, in 2017, we did try assign Win10E3 to users,

Then users devices couldn't activate, the MS Support told us that we first need login with local account, after that activate OS, after that join device to domain, after that give license to user, which is absolutely not workable solution for Enterprise. And if we did direct AAD join with licensed user, then edition upgrade/activation give us errors for some devices.

And then MS Support told us that this license Win10E3 is only "Edition Upgrade".

This time, when we run tests, seems that (as example with macOS) the Win10E3 license also activate our user Windows OS and all tests with AAD join never give issues.

So just wonder if this Win10E3 license now also Activate windows and not only "Edition Upgrade"

best response confirmed by ITCTF (Brass Contributor)


Microsoft released solution:


So now:

1. Give license to user

2. Make sure device is AzureAD joined

3. If a device doesn't have a key integrated activation, run below:


To change all of your Windows 10 Pro devices to Windows 10 Enterprise, run the following command on each computer:

cscript.exe c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43