Re-Blogged From: www.zdnet.com
“Windows activation is alive and well in Windows 10. Microsoft doesn’t like to talk about the inner workings of its anti-piracy software, but it’s clear from testing that Windows 10 included a major change in the way activation works.”
Windows 10 activation status for a device is stored online. After you successfully upgraded first, and activate Windows 10 for the first time, that device will activate automatically in the future, with no product key required. Your Windows 10 license is stored online and linked to your device. Windows activation server generates a Windows 10 license certificate and stores it in conjunction with your installation ID and the version you just activated (Home or Pro).
“That’s a huge change from previous versions of Windows, which required a product key for every installation. And it’s potentially an unwelcome surprise for anyone who tries to do a clean install of Windows 10 without understanding the new activation”
The key important factor here for Windows 7 and 8.1 activated OS users and the “free 1`year Windows 10 upgrade” is UPGRADING to Windows 10 first. Once Windows 10 activates automatically, THEN you can wipe and install a completely “clean” install of Windows 10 and it will activate automatically. All based on stored information, installation ID from upgrading from Win 7 or 8.1.
Full Explanation Of Windows 10 Activation Can be Found Here:
Why you can’t find your product key after upgrading to Windows 10
Windows 10: Five important questions and the answers you’ve been seeking
A guide to Windows 10 security settings