Microsoft Windows: License Restrictions and General Information


License Information

This software may only be installed and used by Duke faculty, staff, and students.  There are separate license restrictions for students and employees, but the versions of the software are identical.

  • Faculty/Staff
    • Licenses are for upgrade only, meaning that all new computers purchases require the purchase of an upgrade-eligible OS in order to legally upgrade Windows.  Microsoft Volume Licensing programs do not offer Windows desktop operating system licenses; Volume Licensing provides only Windows upgrade licenses. Before you are eligible to acquire an upgrade license for the Windows desktop PC operating system through Duke’s Microsoft Volume Licensing program, you must first have licensed and installed a qualified full desktop operating system on your device.
    • Upgrade-eligible operating systems include any version of Windows or Mac OS X.  Windows may not be legally installed on computers purchased with no OS or any non-Windows/Mac OS such as Linux under the Duke license.
    • Although the license is upgrade-only, the installers provided by Duke can be used for clean/full installs and imaging provided that the hardware already has an OEM Windows license.
    • This software may be installed on an unlimited number of Duke-owned computers on campus.
    • The software may also be used on Duke-owned or individually-owned computers which are used primarily for working remotely for Duke if it is installed by a Duke IT staff member, or if written permission is given by the IT department.
    • Personal licenses are not available through OIT.  You will need to purchase Windows licensing through normal retail distributors.
    • Duke-owned computers running Windows Enterprise versions are covered under Microsoft Software Assurance.  This provides additional Windows licensing rights
      • You can install multiple copies of the Windows operating system on licensed devices
      • VDA Licenses are included under Duke’s campus agreement.  Windows VDA is a per device or per user subscription license designed to help organizations license devices or users that do not qualify for Software Assurance, such as “thin client” devices and users who are not the primary user of a device that qualifies for Windows Software Assurance. The license provides the right to access a virtual desktop. 
  • Students
    • Students are licensed to run this software on their own computers that are designated for individual, dedicated student use.
    • A free download and activation key is available to students through the onthehub website.
    • Students are limited to one lifetime download and installation of each version of Windows.
    • Licenses are for upgrade only, meaning that all new computers purchases require the purchase of an upgrade-eligible OS in order to legally upgrade Windows under this agreement.  Microsoft Volume Licensing programs do not offer Windows desktop operating system licenses; Volume Licensing provides only Windows upgrade licenses. Before you are eligible to acquire an upgrade license for the Windows desktop PC operating system through Duke’s Microsoft Volume Licensing program, you must first have licensed and installed a qualified full desktop operating system on your device.
    • Upgrade-eligible operating systems include any version of Windows or Mac OS X.  Windows may not be legally installed on computers purchased with no OS or any non-Windows/Mac OS such as Linux under the Duke license.

The Microsoft campus agreement (MCA) is jointly funded by OIT and DHTS and the software is distributed at no cost to the Duke community. 

Support Information

Duke does not have a support agreement with Microsoft.  No professional support is available under the campus agreement.

  • For product activation issues, visit the Windows Activation FAQ site.
  • The OIT Service Desk provides full telephone, chat, and e-mail support for all Microsoft-supported versions of Windows.
  • There are extensive web support resources available for Microsoft products.  Visit support.microsoft.com or google the product issue you are having and you are likely to find a resolution
  • Patches, service packs, and updates are generally automatically downloaded and installed using Microsoft/Windows updates.
  • Official Product Site:   http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/home

List of Licensed Versions

All currently supported, volume-licensed versions of Windows are available through OIT.  For faculty/staff, the enterprise versions are available for immediate download, and other versions, including LTSB, are by request only.  For students, the versions available are determined by the retail offerings by Microsoft.