Windows IoT Licensing FAQ

Building a new fixed-purpose device or expanding your fleet? When you develop IoT devices or solutions with Windows IoT operating systems, you need to work with a Microsoft authorized distributor like Bsquare. You can speak directly with a Windows IoT licensing expert or start with these frequently asked questions about licensing.


Is there a cost to join the Windows IoT program?

  • Joining the Windows IoT program is free.

What agreements are needed to purchase and distribute Windows IoT and embedded licenses with my products?

  • Microsoft requires OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to execute an OEM Customer License Agreement, which Bsquare will facilitate between you and Microsoft. This non-negotiable agreement is set up via DocuSign. There are no obligations to purchase with the establishment of the agreement. See an infographic about license procurement with Bsquare.

What’s the difference between Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise?

  • The software inside is the same. If you’re building a fixed-function smart or embedded device, the Windows 10 IoT family is the right operating system for the project. While all editions of Windows 10 provide the security and management features that customers expect from Microsoft, only Windows 10 IoT Enterprise offers a 10-year support cycle. With Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, you also get advanced lockdown features, including keyboard and write filter.

What’s the difference between Windows Server IoT 2019 and Windows Server 2019?

  • The software inside is the same here, too. Windows Server IoT 2019 is the binary equivalent to Windows Server 2019, with the same robust features and capabilities. The difference is in usage and licensing. The IoT version is built for fixed-purpose devices that need heavy-duty computing at the edge, with SAC and LTSC licensing options. Read more about Windows Server IoT 2019 and why it’s the best bet for your intelligent device and system.

Can IoT or embedded product keys be used with other licensing channels?

  • Windows IoT and Embedded product keys can only be used with OEM licensing channels.

How do I obtain the software to develop my image?

  • Bsquare will assist you with the OEM Pre Install Kit (OPK) download process or we can ship OPK DVDs for a small shipping fee.

When do I order Certificate of Authenticity (COA) licenses?

  • Order COA licenses when you are ready to ship your device to an end customer.

How do I track activations? How does Microsoft know how many activations have occurred?

  • Microsoft offers the Windows ADK, which contains the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT). Download the ADK for the OS version in use and install the VAMT.

What happens if the product needs to be swapped out? Can I reuse my license?

  • The COA or license is tied to the hardware. It cannot be removed and put on another server. If you try, it will not come off in one piece and the COA will be rendered useless. The license, once purchased and affixed to the device, is associated with the device for its lifetime.

Can I migrate from a prior version of a Windows Embedded operating system, like WES7, to a newer version of the Windows IoT operating system?

  • Using Microsoft Migration Rights, an OEM can purchase a COA of the current OS and install an image of a prior operating system and deliver that system to end users. The end user then has 12 months of use of the prior OS before they must migrate to the current operating system.

Does Microsoft offer a discounted Windows upgrade product?

  • The cost for an upgrade license is the same cost as the full license.

What is Windows 10 IoT Core? How is it different from Windows 10 IoT Enterprise?

  • Windows 10 IoT Core is targeted to low-power hardware and can run one Universal Windows Platform app at a time. Windows 10 IoT Enterprise can run on a wider range of hardware and has more features.

Why should I buy from Bsquare?

  • Bsquare has been helping our partners and customers build IoT and embedded systems and devices for more than 25 years. We are a longstanding Microsoft Gold engineering and operations partner based in Seattle, WA, and Trowbridge, UK.
  • As a software-only distributor of Windows IoT software, we offer best-in-class service, technical support, utility tools, and aggressive pricing. We support all of Microsoft’s embedded products as well as embedded Linux, Android, FreeRTOS, QNX, and ThreadX.
  • Talk to a licensing expert today.