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Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

Netbook unlock question

About a year ago, my daughter bought an Acer netbook.  At the time, she was told the device was locked to Microsoft but the store would unlock it for $80.  She declined.  Now with the free one year subscription to MS Office running out, she has tried to download an open source office suite but the device displays a message that the download is not permitted.

 

Does any of you tech gurus know of any way she can unlock the device?  Your help is much appreciated.

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Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

Re: Netbook unlock question

Is it running Windows S?  If so, she should be able to change it to Windows 10 Home, which will enable installing apps like 3rd party office suites:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/4456067/windows-10-switch-out-of-s-mode.  Alternative, you could consider an Office 365 subscription to keep using Microsoft Office: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/office-on-windows-10-in-s-mode-717193b5-ff9f-4388-84c0-277d...


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Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

Re: Netbook unlock question

@srlawren  She is considering the subscription but I will let her know about the Win 10 solution.  Thanks for your help.  Stay safe!

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Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

Re: Netbook unlock question


@srlawren wrote:

Is it running Windows S?  If so, she should be able to change it to Windows 10 Home, which will enable installing apps like 3rd party office suites:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/4456067/windows-10-switch-out-of-s-mode.  Alternative, you could consider an Office 365 subscription to keep using Microsoft Office: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/office-on-windows-10-in-s-mode-717193b5-ff9f-4388-84c0-277d...



@srlawren wrote:

Is it running Windows S?  If so, she should be able to change it to Windows 10 Home, which will enable installing apps like 3rd party office suites:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/4456067/windows-10-switch-out-of-s-mode.  Alternative, you could consider an Office 365 subscription to keep using Microsoft Office: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/office-on-windows-10-in-s-mode-717193b5-ff9f-4388-84c0-277d...


I know that a 32-bit license will work for 64 bit Windows and vice versa.  Will Windows 10 S being previously installed and activated allow a digital activation of Windows 10 Home?  I've never tried.

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Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

Re: Netbook unlock question

@computergeek541 full disclaimer: I've never tried either.  But my understanding is that Windows S is actually Windows Home (same license) but with a bunch of restrictions in place to make it "more secure" and "easier to use" (type of thing).  I think the initial version of Windows S was completely walled off, but in response to customer frustration at the limitations and lack of native (Windows Store) apps, they opened up the option to essentially convert Win S to Win 10 Home in-place.  I don't believe there's a cost, if I'm remembering correctly.  If you wanted Pro, that's an option as well but at a cost (and not worth it for the majority of casual users).

 

EDIT: more info here from Windows Central:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccB-5UZWYdw


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Mayor / Maire

Re: Netbook unlock question

@Cath

 

You (or your daughter) can try "sideloading" the open office app. Download it on another machine, save to a USB drive, and try to install from there. It's possible that Microsoft (or the vendor) setvup the machine to block app store content but did not set up the OS to do the same.

 

OpenOffice and LibreOffice are both free, opensource, and very similar. They have the more or less all the same apps and components and - along with MS Office - can import/export documents to/from each other. If one won't work then perhaps the other will.

 

Complex formatting embedded within documents is often lost or mangled when transformed between office suites. If this will affect a lot of your (or your daughter's) existing documents then it might be worthwhile to just tenew the existing office software.

 

I generally advise against upgrading operating systems on mobile platforms (laptops, tablets, phones, etc). They invariably require drivers and components designed specifically for their particular hardware selection and designed specifically for their native operating system, no guarantees that they'll still work properly (or can be made to work properly at all) when installing a newer/different operating system which may not have compatible/upgraded driver counterparts.

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Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

Re: Netbook unlock question

@Korth  Thanks for the information.  That sounds like a good place to start.

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Mayor / Maire

Re: Netbook unlock question

@Cath have your daughter try open office 

 

Same as Microsoft has excel, PowerPoint, word,etc.

 

https://www.openoffice.org/

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Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

Re: Netbook unlock question

@Jb456   Thanks for your response.  I use LibreOffice myself on my desktop.  Once she gets the installation issue resolved, I’m sure she will check it out.

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Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

Re: Netbook unlock question


@Korth wrote:

 

 

I generally advise against upgrading operating systems on mobile platforms (laptops, tablets, phones, etc). They invariably require drivers and components designed specifically for their particular hardware selection and designed specifically for their native operating system, no guarantees that they'll still work properly (or can be made to work properly at all) when installing a newer/different operating system which may not have compatible/upgraded driver counterparts.


@Korth did you happen to watch the Windows Central YouTube video I posted above?  This is much less an upgrade as a 5-second side-grade with everything staying in place.  It basically just removes the Windows Store-only app source restriction and you're left with Windows 10 Home rather than Windows 10 S.  I would say the risk is minimal at most.


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