Retail VS VL Versions

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by uffbros, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. uffbros

    uffbros MDL Senior Member

    Aug 9, 2010
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    Can someone explain the difference between Retail and VL versions of Win 10. Here is why I inquire. I do a lot of clean installs on both OEM computers like Dell,HP and some I am doing a activation via KMS. Does it matter what version I use for each or will either VL or Retail media work? The one we are downloading from MSDN is Retail? Is there a way to convert that .iso to VL? Thanks.
     
  2. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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    The main difference is:
    1. Retail = full version of the used level (Single, Home, Pro etc.) of OS with a normal paid License, which includes paid OEM's, and will be registered to a single user. Registration is unlimited by time.
    2. VL (Volume License) = also a full version of the used level, which could not be bought via Shop etc. because it's sold to the corporate Customers of Microsoft. Activation is via a KMS Server, good for up to 180 days per activation circle. The activation circle depends on installation and settings and could be set to automatic at any given days 1-180. That activation isn't done by Microsoft itself.
    If you like more about Retail vs VL, check MS website and/or the Wikipedia.

    A simple fact is, VL versions are bound to a Corporate or an Organisation (University, School, Army, and more) which own a special Activation Key and a KMS (Key Management Server) over which the activation will be done.
    Any activation of a VL Version, which isn't done via such legal KMServer, should/could/would be considered as illegal (pirated), and companies like BSA (Business Software Alliance) and others on the hunt of such illegal activated Software and will punish at least the user if not even file criminal reports to the next court, or fine the user directly.

    And before anybody 'jump' on me (again), the above is simple used Law in any country.
     
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  3. bjf2000

    bjf2000 MDL Addicted

    Apr 11, 2008
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    MSDN would seem to have both (see below), though it's unclear to me if their VL is the same as the VL in VLSC.

    Windows 10 (multi-edition) VL, Version 1709 (Updated Sept 2017) (x64) - DVD (English)
    Windows 10 (multi-edition), Version 1709 (Updated Sept 2017) (x64) - DVD (English)
     
  4. cowbawx

    cowbawx MDL Novice

    Aug 13, 2009
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    VL is the same on VLSC this time around. And no, KMS is NOT the only option for VL products - there is a MAK key that VLSC subs can get, which is also not time based. But yes, everything else stated is correct. Non VL is for Retail, all else for Corporate Purchase customers.
     
  5. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

    Oct 30, 2009
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    The only difference between Client and VL (both available at MVS) is the pre-inserted VL key or volume pckg andor an ei.cfg directing to the VOLUME channel, all versions will accept all applicable keys.
     
  6. uffbros

    uffbros MDL Senior Member

    Aug 9, 2010
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    So can I KMS the Retail version on any given machine?
     
  7. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

    Oct 30, 2009
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    When the KMS solution supports the sku, yes (tip: use @abbodi1406's KMS_VL_ALL v17)