With Windows 8.1 RTM builds leaking out like a poorly constructed bathroom faucet, you might be wondering how you can activate your copy of Windows 8.1 and it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Seeing as Windows 8.1 is a free update for Windows 8, users in our forums are stating you can use your Windows 8 key to activate and remove the watermarks. It’s that simple and multiple users have now confirmed that this works. Windows 8 keys can't be used to install the leaked 8.1 builds though, but there is a key floating around that can be used to install, then simply change that key to your genuine 8.0 key and activate.
We can almost guarantee that rumors will circulate soon that Microsoft is blacklisting any key that is used to activate Windows 8.1 as these rumors always make their way around the Internet, but this scenario seems rather unlikely.
Additionally, if you do install Windows 8.1, you may need to force an install of the .Net 3.5 Framework updates. To do this, you will need to enter the following line in an elevated (Administrator) command prompt; dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /Source:X:/sources/sxs. Where X: is the path to the Windows 8.1 install media.
As with any leaked copy of Windows or any other software, proceed with caution as there is no official support available if you break your install. Of course, if you do have any questions, the Neowin forums are a great resource for help.
For those of you wanting to wait until Microsoft releases the update officially, you will get your chance on October 18th at retail locations and on the 17th via the Windows Store.
Thanks for the tip Tews!