Each of these downloads also has a highlighted section about Windows validation just below the Quick Details box on the download details page.These downloads require validation of Windows, which helps to ensure that Windows users receive all the benefits of running authentic and fully licensed copies of Windows.
Without it, your customers will not have a legal license to run their Windows software.
Each COA label includes advanced anti-counterfeiting features to help verify the software's authenticity.
The COA label is included with each individual software license.
Genuine Microsoft software | System builder licensing | Windows system builder licensing for personal use | Transfer of license | Microsoft on preinstallation and software returns | Refurbished PCs | Downgrade rights | Activation | Volume Licensing | Additional resources A.
Validation is an online process that verifies that your copy of Windows is genuine and that critical Windows licensing files have not been damaged, deleted, or removed.
It takes only a few moments and lets Microsoft create a match between your PC's hardware profile and your 25-character product key, which is usually located on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA).
This match is anonymously archived so it can be checked against future activation and validation attempts and helps make sure that the Windows product key installed on your PC matches the original Windows product key that was purchased.
In this way, validation helps ensure that your product key is not used by another person in a malicious manner, such as activating a counterfeit or non-genuine copy of Windows.
Microsoft might ask you to validate after Windows activation, when you request a genuine Windows download from the Microsoft Download Center, or when requesting a non-security-related download from Windows Update.