Install Windows 8 For Just $14.99, Get The Full Version For $69.99

Install Windows 8 For Just $14.99, Get The Full Version For $69.99

The official price for a Windows 8 upgrade is $39.99, but if you have an existing system running Windows 7 you may be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s $14.99 upgrade offer for recent purchasers of new computers. And if you’re installing on an entirely new machine, a model Microsoft claims it doesn’t support yet, you can still take advantage of the $69.99 “box copy” price rather than paying for a legally-dubious OEM copy. Here’s how to do it.

Microsoft launched the upgrade scheme back in June, to ensure large numbers of people didn’t put off purchasing machines ahead of Windows 8’s official release last week. The Next Web notes that the online form for registering for an upgrade effectively works on an honour system; provided you say you purchased your machine after June 2, you can upgrade for $14.99.

Meanwhile, our own testing suggests that if you have installed the final version of the code but haven’t got an official installation key, you can upgrade for $69.99, by using Microsoft’s ‘Get Genuine’ route to acquire a product key. Kick off the process by selecting ‘Activate Windows’ in settings.

No telling when these loopholes might close; Microsoft wants to encourage rapid adoption of Windows 8 (and has apparently sold 4 million upgrades already), but it doesn’t necessarily want to give the operating system away. If you’re contemplating upgrading, take advantage while you can.


  • How is an OEM version “legally dubious”, but this method isn’t?

    Perhaps a better article would be to cover off what is and isn’t allowed in the new version of their “OEM” software agreement, it’s my understanding it’s changed a bit since Win 7.

    • Some people go to stores like -insert computer parts store here- and buy a hdd and an OEM copy of windows. Which you should only be able to buy with a full system, so it’s legally dubious. 🙂

      • That’s the thing, this isn’t the necessarily case any more.

        It doesn’t really matter anyway, the thing with OEM licenses is it’s bound to the hardware you first install it on, while a “boxed” version should allow you to uninstall it and re-install it on a new computer if desired.

        The whole topic is quite confusing right now, which is why I’ve suggested that Lifehacker would be much better off writing an article on how this license works for people that build their own PCs, instead of just writing if off as “legally dubious”.

      • Microsofts new “System Builder” OEM copies are also for “Personal Use” – it is fine to install an OEM copy and perfectly legal under their new licenses…everything telling you otherwise is false/old info. The only downside is that you don’t get tech support from Microsoft when purchasing any OEM/System Builder software – accoridng to the license on the packaging. It’s written clearly on the packaging of the OEM copy and you need to accept “terms and conditions for personal use” on the Microsoft site. I picked mine up for $120 last week. There are many stores selling it, online and in-store.

      • And some computer stores sell OEM copies if you buy a cheap mouse or cable. A friend even got an OEM copy by not buying anything else, but said “Yeah I bought a machine here about 6 months ago without any OS” – and was told “Ok, we can sell you this OEM as that systems OS”

    • The problem is that OEM copies are designed to be shipped to a company who builds computers. The OEM Windows gets installed on a newly built machine which is then sold to a customer.

      Lots of computer parts retailers would resell these much cheaper OEM copies to anyone who wanted one, and that is against the license agreement.

      OEM copies like that have gone away in Windows 8 – OEM still exists but it’s for the Dells and HPs of the world only. Microsoft has re-aligned and simplified their licensing to reflect the way people were actually buying and using the products.

      Ars Technica has a good writeup on the change.

  • Hmmm,
    “online form for registering for an upgrade effectively works on an honour system”
    That may be why I could install the upgrade disk on an unformatted SSD with no issues and have the system tell me that it is activated, even though I bought the physical disks.
    Have to wonder now if MS will set up a check program to see if people have done this. By the way, I have 7, Vista and XP disks, I just wanted to see what would happen if I installed from scratch.

  • Well then.. that was slightly annoying. Did the offer, download the assistant.. “I’m sorry, Windows 8 isn’t available for online purchase in the country/region that you’re in”.

    In Australia?

  • so really what this article says is that Win8 is only $15* …..sweet!

    *Microsoft allow it cause they want as many people buying it and made it easier to do the upgrade by not needing proof of purchase etc.

    PLUS you can burn the iso to DVD or USB and clean install as well!


  • So instead of using one “dubious” way, which isn’t due to the new personal use clause in the win8 system builder licence, you suggest using another dubious way?

  • This is pretty much par for the course with Lifehacker these days. They’ve given up suggesting better, more efficient ways of doing things and instead suggest “different” methods of doing things that may be the same or worse as the “usual” method.

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