Before you decide on upgrading to Windows 8, you need to know whether you are going to go with Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 Pro offers “encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity” over the base Windows 8 (compare versions). In addition, if you are interested in the Windows Media Center, you will only be able to upgrade with the Windows 8 Media Center add-on pack with Windows 8 Pro.
If you want Windows Media Center, there are a few limited time offers you should be aware of. You can upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 and you can get the Windows Media Center pack for Windows 8 Pro for free. These offers are only available until January 31st, 2013.
To activate the Windows 8 Pro Pack or the Media Center Pack, follow these steps:
- Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.(If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
- Enter add features in the search box, and then tap or click Settings .
- Tap or click Add features to Windows 8 and then do one of the following:
- If you need to purchase a product key, tap or click I want to buy a product key online.You will be prompted through the steps to buy a product key from there and it will be entered for you.
- If you already have a product key, tap or click I already have a product key.
- Enter your product key and click Next.
- Read the license terms, select the check box to accept the license terms, and then click Add features.
You can purchase the Windows 8 Pro Pack product key through the steps above. To get the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free before January 31st, head over to Microsoft’s Windows 8 Feature Packs page and just enter your e-mail address and answer a CAPTCHA to have the product key emailed to you.
You must also activate the product keys sent to you no later than January 31st, 2013. See that Features Pack page for all the details of this offer.