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Windows 8 Upgrade Program May Now Require Windows 7 Key

By - Source: CNet | B 29 comments

You may need your Windows 7 product key to upgrade to Windows 8.

Prior to the release of Windows 8, Microsoft announced an upgrade program for those who purchased new computers in the months leading up to the release of the new OS. These people would, of course, be buying Windows 7 machines, which would technically be out of date in less than a year. However, Microsoft recognized that it needed a program in place to ensure sales of Windows 7 machines wouldn't nose dive in the six months before Windows 8 was launched. Redmond came up with an upgrade program that would allow anyone that purchased a Windows 7 machine after June 2012 to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $15. However, this week it emerged that folks hoping to upgrade may need to have their Windows 7 product key on hand.

According to CNet, Microsoft is randomly asking some users to enter their Windows 7 product activation key to verify that their machine qualifies for the upgrade deal. Lance Whitney writes that he tried to upgrade three machines, all of which were bought after June 2 of this year. While one computer updated to Windows 8 without incident (all Whitney had to do was enter the name and manufacturer of his computer and the date he bought it), the other two returned a message of apology informing Whitney his computers were not eligible for the upgrade. A week later, he tried again, and was asked to enter his Windows 7 product key as additional verification. This time around, his computers were approved for the upgrade to Windows 8.

Microsoft says the process to determine which users need a Windows 7 activation key and which users don't is dynamic and based on a number of factors. Redmond said if you can't verify your purchase using the online system, you'll need to contact customer support and provide them with proof of purchase.

Have any of you had problems updating to Windows 8 via the upgrade program? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • 14 Hide
    bustapr , December 20, 2012 5:24 PM
    I really dont think this would be of much benefit to microsoft. if a win7 pirate were to get some sort of conscience and by the upgrade to win8, then thats an extra $15 to microsoft. But if they prevent the easy upgrade to these users this way, then they would say "F-OFF" and go look for a pirated copy. which is $15-$100 less to microsoft. it would also inconvenience the users who retardedly ripped off the product key stamp on the (OEM) pc, or lost their own copy of it, making them either, stick with win7 or look for a pirated copy of win8 (this shouldnt be too hard). thats how I see the common consumer nowadays. if they have lots of money or somehow cant find a pirated copy they buy it. overall I dont see microsoft profiting from this decision at all.
  • 10 Hide
    marcus-san , December 20, 2012 5:10 PM
    Just what Microsoft needs - to make it more difficult to purchase/activate an OS no one wants . . . If you have a Windows 7 key, KEEP IT, Don't upgrade.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    erick81 , December 20, 2012 5:08 PM
    I don't have a problem with MS trying to protect themselves but entering the key doesn't invalidate it I hope.
  • 10 Hide
    marcus-san , December 20, 2012 5:10 PM
    Just what Microsoft needs - to make it more difficult to purchase/activate an OS no one wants . . . If you have a Windows 7 key, KEEP IT, Don't upgrade.
  • 4 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , December 20, 2012 5:15 PM
    I am happy with W7 for now, but I might as well buy the upgrade, given the cheap cost during the current promotion.
  • 1 Hide
    Hellbound , December 20, 2012 5:18 PM
    Windows 8 offers nothing to my desktop experience.. I will continue to use Windows 7.
  • 14 Hide
    bustapr , December 20, 2012 5:24 PM
    I really dont think this would be of much benefit to microsoft. if a win7 pirate were to get some sort of conscience and by the upgrade to win8, then thats an extra $15 to microsoft. But if they prevent the easy upgrade to these users this way, then they would say "F-OFF" and go look for a pirated copy. which is $15-$100 less to microsoft. it would also inconvenience the users who retardedly ripped off the product key stamp on the (OEM) pc, or lost their own copy of it, making them either, stick with win7 or look for a pirated copy of win8 (this shouldnt be too hard). thats how I see the common consumer nowadays. if they have lots of money or somehow cant find a pirated copy they buy it. overall I dont see microsoft profiting from this decision at all.
  • 7 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 20, 2012 5:44 PM
    I would suggest those who haven't tried Win8, go to Best Buy or some other brick-and-mortar store and test out the Win8 computers.

    I don't like Win8 myself and plan on waiting until Win 8 SP1 or Win9, but I feel that some people here hates Win8 simply because other hate it as well.
  • 3 Hide
    ben850 , December 20, 2012 6:08 PM
    A Bad DayI would suggest those who haven't tried Win8, go to Best Buy or some other brick-and-mortar store and test out the Win8 computers.I don't like Win8 myself and plan on waiting until Win 8 SP1 or Win9, but I feel that some people here hates Win8 simply because other hate it as well.


    It's dumb of Microsoft to only show the Metro UI in it's Win8 advertisements. It's obviously turning away many people. This feature has been nonexistent to me though, and I continue my Windows 8 usage just like if it was XP, Vista, or 7.
  • -1 Hide
    hoofhearted , December 20, 2012 6:10 PM
    Does that mean I loose my ability to run Windows 7 with that key? Just that risk added make Windows 8 even more of a deterrent.
  • 5 Hide
    Avus , December 20, 2012 6:29 PM
    Just to be clear, for now, any Win XP/Vista/Win7 users can buy Windows 8 PRO upgrade for only around $40USD!! (OEM Win8 Pro is around $150) This $15 deal is suppose for those who bought a new computer that comes with Win7 "recently". But as far as I know, the $15 Win8 offer site doesn't actually check for proof of purchase, so it is fair for MS to do something about it. Honestly, even if you are not qualify for the $15 deal, $40 for Win8 Pro is still a hell of a deal. I highly recommend to take this deal if you are currently running WinXP or SPECIALLY Vista. (of course the system should at least has a dual core CPU and 4GB RAM) It is actually a very fast/smooth OS. (upgrade from Vista, it kind of give u a hardware upgrade feel. It is that good) Of course everyone hate Metro and the disappearance of the Start button, but there is mod for that. I would NOT keep using WinXP/Vista just because of these 2 reason.
  • -8 Hide
    emperornicon , December 20, 2012 6:31 PM
    MicroSuck software Corp. the good windows product line died after August 22, 2005 with release of a global disaster called vista. after the fact the medical field has not embraced vista, se7en and even eight. their reason: Mission crital : resource hungy: Power hungry. with vista, 7, or 8 their is still many patches that need to be released, the Operating systems are in thier infancy.
  • 1 Hide
    Dax corrin , December 20, 2012 7:30 PM
    I guess I'd have to want Win 8 to need my Win 7 key to upgrade. Happy with 7.
  • -1 Hide
    Marco925 , December 20, 2012 7:30 PM
    Quote:
    place to ensure sales of Windows 7 machines wouldn't nose dive in the six months before Windows 8 was launched


    That was a joke, right?
  • 1 Hide
    simmons33 , December 20, 2012 7:32 PM
    A Bad DayI would suggest those who haven't tried Win8, go to Best Buy or some other brick-and-mortar store and test out the Win8 computers.I don't like Win8 myself and plan on waiting until Win 8 SP1 or Win9, but I feel that some people here hates Win8 simply because other hate it as well.


    So true. I own a spare laptop with W8. Its it no way amazing, but It could have been vista all over again. In the end, as long as the system is really stable, I deal with it. Will be nice if compatibility is fixed in SP1.
  • 3 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , December 20, 2012 8:09 PM
    God, the hysterics people are having are a bit over-the-top. If you don't like the Metro/Modern UI, fine. But it is in no way comparable to Windows Me/Vista. Win8 is *less* resource-hungry than 7 (which was a big improvement over XP itself), is perfectly stable, and I'm not aware of any crippling driver incompatibility issues.

    There are some nice under-the-hood improvements and features in Win8 that, to me, are worth the paltry $40 upgrade. It helps that I don't mind the new Start screen (just nicer, full-screen Start menu as far as I'm concerned), and Metro/Modern UI is fantastic on touch devices (much better than iOS or Android UIs, IMO).

    Win8 isn't the second coming, nor is it the antichrist. Not liking it is fine, but throwing these giant hissy fits is a bit ridiculous, I'd say.
  • 1 Hide
    danielravennest , December 20, 2012 8:24 PM
    Once you learn a few setup tricks, the Start Screen is not a bother. Put the desktop icon in the top left. Then "Enter" goes immediately to the desktop. Unpin crap you don't want by right click and choose "Unpin" from popup toolbar. Pin stuff you do want and use often by right click anywhere in desktop explorer on the programs or items you want. Then rearrange the tiles to your liking.

    If you want to see all programs, just right click on a blank area of the start screen, and choose the popup toolbar item for "All". The only real difference is instead of the start button bringing up a small window showing pinned programs/all programs, they have grown to full screen versions. The little Start icon even shows up if you hover in the bottom left corner of the desktop, it's just not visible all the time.

    I got used to it in a couple of days, it's nowhere near as bad as people made it out to be. Since I'm upgrading from XP on my older machine, I think it's worth the $40 upgrade just so I can install more than 4GB on that machine.
  • -1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 20, 2012 8:28 PM
    You can activate an oem windows 8 product key on multiple desktops at once you just skip the online activation and do it by telephone instead, in retuend the automated system gives you a telephone activatation number set then varify it's on one pc and you have your windows 8 oem activated on another pc. This method also works With Windows 7/Vista as well. i've done it many times before.
  • -4 Hide
    tomfreak , December 20, 2012 10:16 PM
    AvusJust to be clear, for now, any Win XP/Vista/Win7 users can buy Windows 8 PRO upgrade for only around $40USD!! (OEM Win8 Pro is around $150) This $15 deal is suppose for those who bought a new computer that comes with Win7 "recently". But as far as I know, the $15 Win8 offer site doesn't actually check for proof of purchase, so it is fair for MS to do something about it. Honestly, even if you are not qualify for the $15 deal, $40 for Win8 Pro is still a hell of a deal. I highly recommend to take this deal if you are currently running WinXP or SPECIALLY Vista. (of course the system should at least has a dual core CPU and 4GB RAM) It is actually a very fast/smooth OS. (upgrade from Vista, it kind of give u a hardware upgrade feel. It is that good) Of course everyone hate Metro and the disappearance of the Start button, but there is mod for that. I would NOT keep using WinXP/Vista just because of these 2 reason.
    exactly, Vista performance problem can not be fix while Start menu in win8 can be fix. Win8 is not for win7 user, It is for XP/Vista people

    $40 may sound like a deal to someone. But I wouldn't buy it @ $40. If it is $15, then it is a no brainer for someone from winXP/Vista. Microsoft should have keep that price. Because $15 is the only price that make win8 sell well. The 4millions sales figure on the first few days is the result of the $15 bypass trick.

    I got 2 copies of win8 for $15 each & another 2 for the accidentally given free by Microsoft thing.
  • 1 Hide
    darkavenger123 , December 20, 2012 11:27 PM
    Damn...i still haven't upgrade mine after i bought the upgrade license.
  • 2 Hide
    darkavenger123 , December 20, 2012 11:31 PM
    btw, i've discovered something important for me in Windows 8....Hyper-V. Windows 7 can't run Hyper-V...i run lots of VM in the office and sometimes takes the VM back home for testing on my machine....Oracle VM Box have problems with the Hyper-V VHD eventhough it can read the file, but the OS can't start and probably needs a lot more work. The 15 bucks is worth it for Hyper-V alone.


  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 21, 2012 1:17 AM
    It seams to be a limit on the email address you use. It is a limit of 3 uses (upgrades) per email address.
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