Windows 8 has been out since October 26th and has captured approximately 3% of the desktop market through new license sales and hardware sales – upgrades aren’t counted in that  percentage. Microsoft originally offered upgrades for new machines at R125 and for pre-existing licenses at R350. But what if you wanted it for free?

Please note: my activation is a legal copy!

Some users installing the Media Center Upgrade on cracked copies of the OS have discovered that they now have legitimate licenses. After the install, their cracked copy became a legitimate one for absolutely no reason anyone can fathom. Windows 8 licenses on tablets use Microsoft’s KMS server and phones home every 180 days to make sure the license is still legit. For the desktop and laptop, these activations become permanent unless the OS is a volume license one in which case the KMS server is again used.

Users who are currently using the trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise wont be able to do this. But those users who either cracked their copy or used a fake key to install the OS while still offline were able to download the Media Center upgrade pack and received confirmation that their install was legitimate. Scratching of heads continued until it was suggested (and confirmed) by a Reddit user who suggested that the upgrade pack simply wrote over the existing key in use and, through magic we won’t understand unless Microsoft tells us, replaces it with a new license key.

Gladly (or rather sadly for the pirates), Microsoft has pulled the upgrade packs in affected regions to see how this happened. Those who already downloaded the upgrade for the free keys may be contacted by Microsoft reps in the future to offer a legitimate solution.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

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