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Microsoft Windows Licensing

This article applies to: Software Licensing


Eligibility

Cornell University has renewed our Campus Agreement with Microsoft to provide the Desktop Bundle for all computers owned by Cornell University.

Full overview of the Microsoft Campus Agreement

The Campus Agreement currently allows Cornell University staff, faculty, and affiliates* to download selected Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems and install them on computers owned by Cornell University and its affiliated institutions at no cost.  Computers must have been initially purchased with a licensed version of Microsoft Windows operating system to qualify. Students, retirees, and alumni are not covered by the Campus Agreement, and are not authorized to download software covered by the Agreement. 

*Affiliated institutions covered under the Campus Agreement are: Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, the ROTC Program at Cornell University, and the USDA facility at the Robert W. Holley Center.

Please note that the Weill Cornell Medical College has its own arrangement in place with Microsoft, and is not covered by the Campus Agreement. Weill Cornell staff and faculty should check with their local IT providers for information about Microsoft licensing.

News and Announcements

Windows 10: March 2018 Update (May 11, 2018)
Updated ISOs for Windows 10 that include the March 2017 updates are now available.

Windows 10: September 2017 Update (October 18, 2017)
Updated ISOs for Windows 10 that include the September 2017 updates (v1709) are now available.

Windows 10: March 2017 Update (May 1, 2017)
Updated ISOs for Windows 10 that include the March 2017 updates are now available.

Windows XP No Longer Supported (April 8, 2014)
Microsoft has ended extended support for Windows XP and no longer provides any security patches. Consequently, it is now against Cornell's IT Security Policy to put any computer running Windows XP onto the Cornell network. Please upgrade any computer running Windows XP to a supported version of Windows immediately. 

Download Windows OS

The installers below are exclusively for computers owned by Cornell University and Cornell-affiliated institutions* that have opted into the Campus Agreement.  All Cornell regular staff and faculty are authorized to download these installers.

*Affiliated institutions covered under the Campus Agreement are: Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, the ROTC Program at Cornell University, and the USDA facility at the Robert W. Holley Center.

Installing any of these versions of Windows onto a privately- or personally-owned computer is a violation of license.

Windows 10

For installation onto Cornell-owned computers only.
 
Please check with your local departmental Technical Support Provider before attempting to upgrade a computer running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Many departments have chosen to hold off upgrading departmental computers due to compatibility issues with other services.
 
For existing computers running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, you can use the following Windows 10 installers to perform an in-place upgrade. An in-place upgrade preserves all data, settings, applications, and drivers from the existing Windows version.  Please be sure to back up your system before upgrading. If you had ever installed Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP), please be sure to fully uninstall it before attempting to upgrade. If you have difficulty uninstalling SEP, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Windows 8 / 8.1 Installers:

For installation onto Cornell-owned computers only.

Windows 7:  Full Installers (Requires reformat of hard disk to install)

Support for Windows 7 ends January 14, 2020.

For installation onto Cornell-owned computers only.

Advanced Utilities:

Other Editions of Windows

Windows 10 Education Edition is covered under our license. Please contact us if you need the installers.

Windows 10 Enterprise Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) edition is available to Cornell Technical Service Providers. Please contact us if you need the installers.

Professional Edition is covered under our site license, but is not currently recommended for use on Cornell-owned computers. Enterprise Edition provides a higher level of integration for managed desktop, BitLocker drive encryption, and other IT administration tools. If you have a special need for a Professional Edition of Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 7, please contact us.

Home Editions and Ultimate Editions are not covered by our site license.

Earlier Versions of Windows

Windows XP is not available. Microsoft has ended support of Windows XP, and it is no longer covered under the Campus Agreement. We can no longer distribute Windows XP or its Product Key under our campus site license. 

Windows Vista is not available. Microsoft has ended support of Windows Vista, and it is no longer covered under the Campus Agreement. We can no longer distribute Windows Vista or its Product Key, nor can we continue to provide KMS activation for Vista under our campus site license.

Ordering New Windows Computers

To take advantage of our Windows license, new computers must be purchased with a factory-installed (OEM) installation of Windows. For departmental purchases of new computers, we recommend that you buy the least expensive Windows version offered (for example, Windows 7 Home Basic). Upon receipt, you can then upgrade your computer to any of the above versions of Windows at no cost to your department. Please note that to upgrade from one edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 to another edition of the same OS, you will need to use a full installer and perform a clean install. (For example, to go from Windows 7 Home Basic to Windows 7 Enterprise, you will need to do a clean install.) 

If you have purchased a computer that did not have an OEM installation of Windows, please contact us to discuss options.

Automatic Activation via Key Management Service (KMS)

Windows 7 and Windows 8 will automatically activate on any Cornell local network that has been configured to use our KMS Activation system. If your local network has been configured for KMS, you will not be prompted to enter a product key. Windows will also activate automatically from off-campus when you connect to the Cornell network via our Virtual Private Network (VPN) service

All local area networks maintained by CIT are configured for KMS activation. If you are an IT provider and would like to configure your locally-administered domain to use KMS activation, please see our How-To guide Activating Microsoft Products with the KMS Server.

If you have special circumstances which make KMS activation unfeasible or impractical, please contact us to request an MAK product key. Please tell us why KMS won't work for your situation. We have a limited number of MAK product keys that we can release on a case-by-case basis when their use is warranted.

Virtual Machines

Under Windows
On a computer whose primary OS is Windows, the Campus Agreement allows installation of Windows on an unlimited number of virtual machines (VMs), as long as the computer originally came with a licensed version of Windows.  

Under macOS
The Campus Agreement allows installation of Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp, a virtualization solution such as Parallels Desktop, or both, at no cost to your department.

On Servers
The Campus Desktop Agreement covers installation of Windows on VMs running on remote servers, provided that the hardware running the VM is owned by Cornell University, or on a Cornell-dedicated third-party hosting service (for example, Amazon Web Services) procured by Cornell University.

Home Use

The Campus Agreement does not allow installation of Windows on a computer not owned by Cornell University or its affiliated institutions.  Cornell staff, faculty, and affiliates are prohibited from installing these versions of Windows on any computer that is their own personal property or is owned by an outside private organization.

Windows Server OS

Under a July 2010 addition to the Campus Agreement, Windows Server OS and many additional Microsoft server products are also available under the Campus Agreement. For details about Windows server products, please see our Microsoft Server Products page.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 10:15am

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