Windows 8: Important January deadlines

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 1, 2013
Windows, Windows 8

Windows 8 has been released a couple of months ago and while the verdict is still out in regards to how successful or not the operating system is, it is important to remember that a couple of deadlines will run out in January 2013. This includes options to purchase the upgrade of the operating system for a discount, get Windows Media Center for free, or that preview versions of the operating system will expire soon.

As far as updates are concerned, the offer to buy the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for the discounted price of $39.99 expires on January 31, 2013. The price may differ depending on which localized version of the shop you buy the upgrade from. It is worth remembering that you can update any legitimate version of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro using the upgrade, and that you can buy it right now and install it after January 31, 2013 as it won't expire after the deadline.

Note that you can install Windows 8 upgrades on a PC without operating system, that the version of your current operating system  defines whether you are downloading a 32-bit or 64-bit image of Windows 8, and that you can download a Windows 8 ISO image again.

The free Windows Media Center update that Windows 8 Pro users can get a license for on this page expires on January 31, 2013 as well. All you need to do is visit the page, enter an email address and wait for the license code to arrive. Check out our guide here on how to add the feature pack to Windows 8. Remember that it is only free for Windows 8 Pro users, and that Windows 8 users (that is the standard desktop version of the system) need to purchase the discounted Windows 8 Pro Pack for $69.99 which not only adds Media Center to it but also upgrades the system from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro.

Also note that you need to add the feature pack to Windows 8 Pro prior to the deadline as the free licenses expire afterwards.

If you have purchased an eligible PC or laptop running Windows 7 or plan on purchasing one before January 31, 2013, you may register for an upgrade offer to get Windows 8 Pro for $14.99.

All Windows 8 Preview versions that Microsoft has released will expire on January 15, 2013. If you need a test version of Windows 8 afterwards download the Windows 8 evaluation version for developers from the MSDN Evaluation Center. (via)


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  1. berttie said on January 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Looks like M$ have tightened up the qualification procedure since I last tried to obtained a $14.99 upgrade in early December. It now requests a Win-7 key every time. Guess they must have sold enough licenses to avoid total embarrassment so now are interested in making money again.

  2. Jérôme said on January 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    French guy here in Europe, applied a $14,99 upgrade on an unvalidated win 7 OS. Worked.
    Using both chrome and ie.

  3. berttie said on January 2, 2013 at 1:53 am

    @ Martin,

    Maybe Americans using IE are less likely to lie than us foreigners, especially foreigners using non M$ browsers. Or maybe M$ is so desperate to have people use Win 8 that they are willing to turn a blind eye to the loyal locals.

    But whatever the reason, the only time I’ve been asked for a Win-7 key has been when using Firefox or Opera. Cancelling when asked for the key and reentering the same name and email addy with IE has usually enabled me to proceed without a key. On the two occasions that a key was still requested, switching to a U.S. IP via VPN bypassed the requirement.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 2, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Interesting, thanks for your explanation.

  4. berttie said on January 2, 2013 at 1:38 am

    @ Daniel

    WMC is actually a part of Win 8 Pro, but it isn’t available until activated by a WMC compatible key. The key is free if you apply before Jan 31 and can be reused if you need to reinstall the OS at any time.

  5. Daniel said on January 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Will I be able to reinstall WMC after the deadline?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 2, 2013 at 1:37 am

      Daniel I do not know how this is handled unfortunately and could not find any information on the offer page. Anyone who knows this?

  6. berttie said on January 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    @ ilev

    Having tested this many times, if you use a IE browser when applying for an $14,99 upgrade you are less likely to be asked for a Win 7 key than if you’re using another browser. If you have an American IP too then it is very unlikely you will be asked.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 2, 2013 at 1:35 am

      Now that is interesting, what is the logic behind that?

  7. ilev said on January 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Microsoft might ask you to enter your Windows 7 key during the process in order to qualify for the $14.99 upgrade.

    All Windows 8 preview versions expire on January 15, 2013

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