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Win 10 Bug Downgrades Some Windows Pro Users to Windows Home

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An unusual Windows bug has popped up across the Web and its causing consternation among users. People woke up on Thursday to a message that their Windows 10 Pro installation was invalid and had been downgraded to Windows 10 Home instead. I haven’t experienced this issue personally (I have a Windows 10 Pro license grandfathered over from my old Windows 7 Pro installation), but enough reports have popped up online to validate the problem.

Microsoft is aware of the issue; Microsoft Chat support has released the following statement:

Microsoft has just released an Emerging issue announcement about current activation issue related to Pro edition recently. This happens in Japan, Korea, American and many other countries.I am very sorry to inform you that there is a temporary issue with Microsoft’s activation server at the moment and some customers might experience this issue where Windows is displayed as not activated. Our engineers are working tirelessly to resolve this issue and it is expected to be corrected within one to two business days.

Weirdly, according to the Reddit thread, I’m the sort of user who should be having problems, but clearly more is going on. Reports that users have been downgraded to Home are incorrect, and the version of Windows 10 you have shouldn’t be impacted in the long term. Once Microsoft restores its license servers, the problem should resolve itself.

It’s not clear how this happened or what MS screwed up to make it happen, but it’s an excellent example of how software has been used to degrade the concept of ownership. A license isn’t just something you validate once, it’s something that repeatedly re-validates — and if Microsoft screws things up on its own end, you can still be hit by the results. Again, however, there’s nothing wrong with your actual license. Microsoft is just so proud of its “Activate Windows” watermark, it wants to make sure you get a real good look at the thing. The licensing activation watermark is irritating, but at least the company doesn’t lock you out of its Windows installation the way it used to during the Bad Old Days of Windows Vista. Then again, we’re left typing things like “Well, at least you can still use the software you legally purchased,” which isn’t any kind of actual recommendation or endorsement.

Now Read: Microsoft’s Windows 10 ‘October’ Update Isn’t Launching in October, Windows 10 1809 May Have Another File-Deleting Bug, and Microsoft Promises Feedback Changes After Windows Data Deletion Bug

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