Difference between W8 Pro Retail and W8 Pro VL?

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by stest1, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. stest1

    stest1 MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2014
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    I'm relatively new here and have been trying to read up on the difference between W8 Pro Retail and W8 Pro VL, but can't seem to get a good grasp of the exact reasons to choose one over the other.

    The differences I've noted so far are:
    1.You can't upgrade to WMC with VL
    2.Retail is activated by retail keys and VL by KMS/MAK keys

    Can anyone explain exactly what the difference between retail, KMS, MAK, and gvlk keys and the types of installations they're used for (specifically retail and VL) are? All of them seem to just activate Windows once for a set grace period before needing to communicating with a server again to renew the activation.

    Thanks.
     
  2. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    #1. Yep

    #2. Nope, afaik both can be activated by all License Channels, i.e. RETAIL, OEM_DM, VOLUME_KMSCLIENT, VOLUME_MAK and so on...

    OEM_DM, RETAIL and MAK = permanent
    VOLUME_KMSCLIENT = 180 Days by default (for Core and ProfessionalWMC editions of Win 8.x 45 Days)
     
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  3. murphy78

    murphy78 MDL DISM Enthusiast

    Nov 18, 2012
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    #3 murphy78, Mar 17, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
    gVLK is the KMS key. You use this key for KMS activation.
    gVLK is the Generic Volume License Key
    Think of it like the default Volume channel key.

    Volume MAK is a Multiple Activation Key.
    Don't quote me on this next part but I think you can activate different SKUs of the same type of software with one of these.
    I think you could, say, activate both Pro VL and Enterprise with the same Windows 8.1 Volume MAK

    Again, don't quote me on that...
    The main purpose of MAK is that it has a certain amount of activation charges.
    Most of the time if you see a Volume MAK on the net that is leaked, the charges get mopped up pretty quickly by leechers.

    In Windows there is no special cert required for Windows 8 Volume activation, but there are certs required for Office 2010 and 2013. If you install Office with the intent of using a KMS activation such as MTK's, you should find a volume version so that you don't have to convert it with certs, uninstalling default keys, etc.

    KMS activation period default is 180 days on supported SKUs, 30 days in 8.0 on unsupported SKUs with modified activation response (Core, prowmc) or alternatively 45 days in 8.1

    MAK is permanent activation, but each charge is tied to your hardware and installation ID, so if you don't want to burn a charge, you'd need to backup an entire hard-drive and not just the contents.
     
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  4. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    To my knowledge both could be even 'quoted' ... :D.
     
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  5. arseny92

    arseny92 MDL Secret Weapon

    Sep 22, 2009
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    Usually yes, but not always: it can be applicable to more than one edition, only if the EditionID of the key matches that definition, e.g.: Professional;ProfessionalN;Enterprise;EnterpriseN.
    There are some keyconfiguration IDs for MAKs applicable to only one edition, e.g. {8f1c2cd6-4d70-4122-8eee-b4de3fb9ba17} are MAKs for Vista BusinessN only, as opposed to the universal MAKs for all Vista client volume editions ({74e464f6-45db-41f6-9356-66260bdf3c65}). (in addition to that, the edition-specific MAKs were applicable from Vista SP1 onwards only).

    Not to mention server volume licensing: there isn't an all server editions MAK, but only for several editions: as for example Web/HPC (A), Standard/Enterprise (B), Datacenter/IA64 (C), or only for each specific edition separately, with Windows Server 2012/2012R2 onwards