This is getting interesting and murkier by the day. After the reports of Microsoft letting users with pirated Windows 7/XP to upgrade to Windows 8, we have come across a major loophole which lets anyone and everyone to upgrade to Windows 8 for just USD 14.99 (or INR 699) by faking the details on the WindowsUpgradeOffer page.

For the uninitiated, the MRP of Windows 8 Pro version is $169.99 and during the promotional offer period, which runs till Jan 31st 2013, Microsoft is offering a big $130 discount to encourage early adaption of the latest Windows OS. So, the existing Windows 7/Vista/XP users can upgrade to Windows 8 for just $39.99 (or INR 1999). Additionally, Microsoft had announced that those who bought a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013 are eligible for a further discount and can actually upgrade for a meagre $14.99. Moreover, users get to download the ISO and/or save Windows 8 as bootable USB.

windowsupgrade


Shockingly, the WindowsUpgradeOffer page requires people to enter some extremely basic details about their Windows 7 PC purchase as shown below. As you can see, the details they ask for can no way be used to validate the purchase. It neither asks for a serial number nor Windows 7 key, but just the PC brand and model! As you can see, we entered some random info into each of the fields.

win8upgradeoffer

Once the details are submitted, user will get a confirmation email about the registration. Within a few minutes, another email with the promo code is sent to the same email address. This promo code can be used to purchase the Windows 8 Pro edition via the Windows 8 Upgrade assistant app, for a nominal fee of USD 14.99. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

windows-8-upgrade

We tried hard to get in touch with Microsoft PR & executives to alert them, but without success. The loophole is already being discussed on forums and blogs now. But seeing the kind of details Microsoft is asking people to get the Windows 8 promo code, we think they’re just desperate to sell as many licenses as possible, even at a loss. In case we get an official statement from Microsoft, we’ll update this post.

Update: Though I didn’t get a direct reply from Microsoft, I was unofficially told by an executive that Microsoft expects the purchase to be legal only if the details entered are genuine. Meanwhile, since yesterday, more and more people have started getting “Registration declined” messages or they are being asked to enter their Windows 7 keys. But, I could personally test that Microsoft hasn’t completely patched the loophole as they randomly let some of the multiple tries (like on different browsers/PCs) go through without verification. It still beats me, how hard it is for them to ask the Windows 7 key for every single case.

Update 2: Looks like Microsoft has finally woken up and has started to compulsorily ask for Windows 7 key.

(H/T: @arvindbhatta)

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Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp

 
 
  • Sunny

    Even if people are going Legit with a small upgrade price, how does that bother or affect you ? At the end of the day there is still a price they are paying and with a basic fee of 14 USD they would have original software on their machines! We pay for MACs, why not a little for Windows ? Both Microsoft and the Users are to gain from this. I myself upgrade three of my PCs running pirated Windows and now I am legit !

    • http://techpp.com Raju

      Bother or affect me? When did I say like that? If you’re referring to my “Microsoft being desperate” comment, I stand by it. Assuming they knew about this loophole all along, why not price it less to start with, and convert those pirates to genuine users? Now they are making real genuine buyers and very early adapters who upgraded at $40 feel like fools.

      • Denzo

        Not really.. there is such a thing as being dishonest.. and for $40.. I can afford it. all these pirate people online think they are cool, when this is not how it should work. If you cant afford the full price I say go for it, pirate away.

  • Desinle

    i think it was a deliberate attempt by microsoft to increase the windows 8 adoption.. and i am falling for it.. keeping my windows 8 key safe for future possible upgrade.. until than happy with windows 7 and ubuntu..

  • Destilere

    seems like this no longer works as it’s asking me for Win7 key

    • http://techpp.com Raju

      I still see the exact same screen. Can you provide me a screenshot where it asks for Windows 7 key? That’d help me to update the article if required.

      • Manu

        yup..its asking for win7 key :(

        • Harish Ravi

          I just applied the promo code.It works

        • ShavedApe

          This seems to be a region thing a friend of mine in Holland was asked for a key while I was not here in the UK

      • BILLU

        can pirated windows 7 users also get windows 8 for 1999 INR ,,WILL THEY GET ANY PROBLEM AFTER SOME DAYS ,BECOZ ON MICROSOFT SITE THERE IS NOWHERE MENTIONED THAT U CAN UPGRADE YOUR PIRATED WINDOWS.

  • sivadhansu

    Ya I got one.But this is a trick

  • http://www.facebook.com/rcazador Vishnu Vardhan

    It still doesn’t ask for a Win7 Key. I just registered for one and claimed it to. Awesomeness!

  • loonz123

    I did just a few minutes ago and it didn’t ask me for a Windows 7 key.

  • Mauro ‘Drizzt’ Bertozzi

    Lol. This is really really fun (and depressing, too).
    Raju, even a grocery let you buy things freely if you enter with a gun, did you know?

    This thing it’s not a loophole at all. When you sign on the form, you accept a license (that no one reads, obviously) saying that you can apply for the discount ONLY if you own a Windows 7 PC bought after June 2, 2012. If you don’t, you are illegally buying, you are telling false, and after that…well, you are leaving your personal datas by paying with your credit card…

    • Bender Rodriguez

      like they will verify thousands of buyers who done this trick!

      • RavingRaven

        Bite my shiny metal ass! :P

  • winwin

    It didnt work in my region, but then I asked my friend in Swiss to do it for me, and he suceeded, I took 2 windows 8 for my pcs for 30$, just incredible :) It has to do something with IP addresses

  • Behemoth

    I just tried it. Worked! Windows 8 Pro for INR 699!

  • kashmiri

    It now asks for the Win 7 key if you select US, India, etc. – but not yet if you select United Kingdom in the country list (but you pay £14.99 there, not $14.99).

  • MB

    There are worse loopholes in their system itself that allow you to activate a pirated copy of Windows 8 for free. These have been exploited by many and have been discussed on plenty of forums as well. As long as Microsoft is getting something out of this, I think it’s a win. It’d attract far more early adopters and give Windows 8 a good head-start making those critics eat their own words.

  • http://twitter.com/paul_homer Paul Homer

    I’ve just used this method to go legit on all my PC’s and laptops. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Fahad

    I am trying to register from yesterday , but still asking for win7 key. Changed countries to India ,US ,Switzerland , UK etc but still nothing works.. Can someone help me to bypass it ?? Thank you

  • Bender Rodriguez

    I have a genuine windows 7 home premium laptop by hp that I purchased last year december 2011. Please tell me If I try this loophole, will I able to get genuine windows 8 for 699 or I have to pay 1999 after sometime? If I put my genuine serial key of windows 7 at the time of verification, what are the chances of getting caught that my laptop is not being purchased before 2 June as per the deal?? Please help!!

  • Tttw

    Doesn’t seem work anymore

    • Bender Rodriguez

      I have genuine windows 7 key but of older pc will it work at the time of verification?

  • Guest

    You can get a promo code, but there’s an important catch in the email:
    “You’ll need to run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant on the PC you want to upgrade.”
    The base OS must be present on the PC you are upgrading and you cannot do a clean install (even though that option is present in the upgrade assistant) as that will not pass the activation. This offer is meant for ‘upgrade’ only.
    Therefore, it need not ask for the product key manually, it will check it automatically from the hard-drive during activation and it’s likely to fail with out a valid license.

    • http://techpp.com Raju

      Not really. I have tried and tested this myself on a Mac with Boot Camp. The upgrade assistant was run on a different PC and Win8 was copied into a bootable USB. This was used to install & activate Windows 8 (as fresh install) on Boot Camp. Everything worked great.

  • satyadeep

    Thanks for this valuable info!! It worked for me :)

  • hedeon

    Works perfectly :)

  • Akshay

    I got the promo code & I am not eligible for upgrade offer (Rs.699) Though i have a genuine windows 7 pc but I used promo code to get the discount, windows 8 is downloading now. During any course of installation I’ll be tracked ?? which is preferable method for installation in such case?

    • vm

      Mr. Raju… i hv the same doubt… during the installation whether the user(who is Not eligible) wud b tracked By Microsoft or get into soMe troUbLe By doing dis !!!!….

      • http://techpp.com Raju

        Guys, sorry. This isn’t a guide on how to cheat MS, but a report on the loophole we found out. Please don’t convert this as a help thread.

        • krishan goyal

          y do you want to alert microsoft?? enjoy the moment

    • Bender Rodriguez

      so you mean! you are not able to use windows 8 pro for Rs.699 even you have genuine windows 7,right?

  • Ravi

    I have a doubt , if I wanted reinstall the OS on this upgraded machine for some reason , how I can do it ?. Assuming after a year I buy a new PC and will not be using the OLD PC at all.

  • Porkrinds

    keeps asking me for a valid windows 7 key.

  • http://www.facebook.com/veeshaal.pokharkar Veeshaal Arun Pokharkar

    For all of those who are unsuccessful in getting promo code, just change your ip address to other country like US or something, then you will get through. i initially tried with my default indian ISP with no success then changed to US proxy via pdproxy and succeeded.

    • Bender Rodriguez

      how to change?

      • http://www.facebook.com/veeshaal.pokharkar Veeshaal Arun Pokharkar

        use pdproxy

    • Rajiv

      Sir if have an extra promo code please give me

      • http://www.facebook.com/veeshaal.pokharkar Veeshaal Arun Pokharkar

        give me ur email id i will send u

        • Sander van der Kroft

          Do you happen to have another key? Id be happy forever if you’d send it!

    • docfuso

      just tried without success, would be glad if there’s someone with a coupon to share, here’s my mail: docfuso@gmail.com

    • indra

      if you have an extra promo code please give me one, thanks you. my email indrafuyanto@hotmail.com. thanks for help

  • gonzo

    Works fine for me, in England.

    • Rajiv

      If you have an extra promo code please give me

    • Rajiv Mohan

      Generate one promo code for me.

  • Zlo

    I dont think its working anymore! I got Promo code and nothing just say on mail or account .We’re reviewing your Windows 8 order!!!

  • sdgmcdon

    Just did it (10/29 1PM PST) and it worked…did not ask for a product key

  • kol

    I could not do it, it kept asks for key. and then now it does not even accept.

  • Matt Williams

    This isn’t exactly a loophole. Yes, you will be able to purchase a license, but your license would be legally invalid..You must agree to the conditions of the program i.e. PC purchased during promo period, with certificate of authenticity, product key, license of and installed with window 7. If not, then you are in no better a legal position than someone pirating it.

  • Ian Armstrong

    This isn’t any sort of great mystery. Microsoft expects to make their money off of the new app store vs through boxed sales of the OS. As a result, the price of an upgrade has been dramatically reduced.

    The OS wars now look a lot like the browser wars did back in the 1990s. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Windows 9 is free.

  • http://twitter.com/CombatDesktops Combat Desktops

    FLAWLESS VICTORY!

    Works like a charm! 10/30/2012

  • Jason

    Well I tried it, added the code and now I can’t remove it? Wow! Microsoft are now forcing me to get it cheaper?

    • Jason

      Okay, I have found out you can also get another £10 off by doing the whole thing again. When you get to the purchase screen just keep going back and then click ‘Order’ again, click next until you get to the final page and then enter yet another code. I could get Windows 8 for only £5 :O

  • dante4478

    Tried it multiple way, and through different proxys, as of now It is not working (10/31)

  • http://www.facebook.com/partha.sarathy.37017 Partha Sarathy

    I paid Rs.1999/- by credit card and got the Windows 8 key and downloaded it and it won’t install saying my Windows XP is not genuine- error code. Tried multipled times. Now the computer wont accept win xp either I am stuck. Do you think Microsoft is dumb.

    • xajem

      could you solve it?

  • Branni B.

    Look, it’s their product and their mistake. I’d leave it up to them to make the problem go away; otherwise you’re going to waste time worry about something that a corporation is responsible for. Just saying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aguayo.ariel Ariel Iván Aguayo

    Nope, asked for my product ID.

    • Mdmaqbool Khan

      IT WILL WORK I HAD TRIED IN THE MORNING ABOUT 7 AM

      • http://www.facebook.com/andre.thompson.148 Andre Thompson

        Hey can you send me a key please, my email is andrethompson50@gmail.com . Many thanks.

  • http://techpp.com Raju

    AFAIK, all Visa and Mastercard CCs are accepted. Not so sure about Amex. It’s better to contact Microsoft customer support for direct help.

  • zippe

    dont work for me.. they added a license key verification

  • BUSTING IDIOTS

    YOUR A CRYBABY SNITCH! WAHHHH! WHY WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS COMPLAINING! ILL BET YOU DOWNLOADED IT AND USED IT! WITHOUT PURCHASING ANY NEW COMPUTER !!! SO LIKE ALL SO CALLED “EDITOR-FOUNDER” OF SOME BULLSHIT BLOGS… YOUR A WASTE! QUIT POSTING THIS GARBAGE CRAP FOR HITS, IM TIRED OF SEEING THIS TYPE OF CRAP POP UP WHEN IM SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT! YOU CAN HACK WINDOWS 7 TO BE GENUINE WITH A SIMPLE CLICK EVEN IF ITS COUNTERFEIT . IT GIVES YOU A KEY SO EVEN IF WINDOWS ASKED FOR A KEY IT WOULD STILL WORK….DUMMY DO SOME REAL LEARNING AND RESEARCH BEFORE POSTING THIS TYPE OF CRAPPPPPPP!

  • Mdmaqbool Khan

    at 29 oct I also try . for windows upgrade offer I fill the form but they didn’t ask windows7 keys automatic they send me the promo code how lucky am i

  • Matt Dawson

    still working, only need purchase location, make and model.

  • Shayne

    Just did this and no problems. Downloading it now.

  • Sander van der Kroft

    Sup man, do you happen to have another windows 8 code from that loophole a couple weeks back? If so, please send one to me, you’d do me a great favor! sank_93_kans@hotmail.com Thanks!

  • Srlex

    Work good, 10.01.2013, with no activated Win7 I have a legal Win8 now.

    • Ste

      How did you do it?