Upgrade an non-installed xp licence?

I have a few old XP serial keys around that I want to upgrade to windows 8. Does this mean I would have to install the XP on a machine then upgrade that to windows 8? Or is there a way of doing this without having to install XP first, just pay and re-register the key to windows 8 somehow?
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More about upgrade installed licence
  1. If you have the original CDs you don't have to install it first. Use your upgrade disk and when it asks for compatible software put in your XP CD. That's how 7 worked and I assume 8 is similar. You may have to enter your XP key as well as your new 8 key.
  2. Best answer
    -I think you should be able to do this but you would have to deal with Microsoft support. (good luck with that)

    -You can install the upgrade on a XP machine get validated then change your mind and transfer the license to another machine by calling Microsoft support

    -I think you have to have a valid OS installed to get the upgrade price even if you wipe the machine during the install by deleting the partitions and making new ones. After the install is complete your license becomes tied to your machine signature during the Activation process.

    -this link downloads the windows 8 image if you already have a key. It also indicates
    that a valid OS must be installed (valid OS includes the windows 8 consumer Preview, or windows Developer preview)

    -Some of retail full retail versions will not have this requirement but they cost more.

    -my guess is that what you want to do will be painful and require talking with support to workaround the software limits put in to prevent clean installs with upgrade versions.
  3. There are plenty of tuts on the net on "How to clean install Windows 8 from upgrade media". ;)
  4. Best answer selected by tolk.
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