You can still get a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $14.99 ... if you lie [Update: loophole closed]

Thursday was supposed to be the last day that most people were able to buy a legitimate upgrade for their old Windows PC to Windows 8 on the cheap. However, it appears that Microsoft's Windows Upgrade Offer website is still sending out promotional codes that will let users get that same upgrade for a mere $14.99.

If you recall, that's the price that people paid for the upgrade if they bought a new Windows 7 PC between June 2nd, 2012 and January 31st, 2013. However, that website is still up and running and, if you just flat out lie and fill in the online forms to indicate that you bought a new Windows 7 PC in between those two dates, the web site will send you two emails that combined will give anyone a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $14.99. This website is supposed to continue to offer this $14.99 discount until February 28th.

We have emailed Microsoft to find out if they plan to do anything to close this huge loophole.

Update: Microsoft has now apparently closed this loophole that we used earlier today and is now requiring that you also type in your Windows 7 registration key that you get when you buy a new PC as part of the $14.99 upgrade offer.

Source: The Next Web | Image via Microsoft

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49 Comments

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I have a code just to stare at, I'll never use it, waste of time to install, check out the lovely apps, wow, fart to cry baby apps, just wow, 7 all the waay

then why in the world are you wasting your time writing that up in a windows 8 story since you obviously have no interest in it?
the world's a big place, go do something worthwhile... troll.

Sead Horvat said,
Why to upgrade to this Frankenstein OS anyway? Win 7 perfectly fits all my needs.

Wow, holy off-topic troll batman!

Thanks Neowin. I work for a company that doesn't volume license and I registered 4 pc's today. I received emails saying I need to do it again... Requiring windows 7 licenses which I rip off my machines so employees can't steal and sell the keys. They're stored in a folder... I don't remember which is which.

Yes... It's happened before. It's why I do it.

MacD@ddy said,
Just tried it. Doesn't work. Asks for a Windows 7 key.

I applied for my discount codes months ago, but the way it worked for me was if I used Firefox, the web site asked for a key. If I used IE then it didn't. Your mileage may vary.

Good move from MS!. This time around the haven't being so stupid. They are actually more concentrated on getting market share than squizzing pennies out their customers.

Im talking about upgrading for $14.99. I just got mine yesterday and my Dell computer is about a year old. That is not the typical MS. But they know that at that low price at least customers won't fly to the competition like,"ubuntu", etc. If they need to.

Wasn't the 14.99 deal meant to end last night? Today in my email inbox I got a new message saying you have until the end of Feb. I didn't see any news on this site of it being extended.

The date for purchasing a computer ended, the offer can still be applied for for 30 days or so.. What about people who bought a computer on Jan 31st 2013, they still need time to apply... get it now, this isn't a loop hole. Microsoft can check for a valid product ID via a request if they wanted to.. in all honesty they probably want to sell at many as they can

The guy in the picture needs a haircut and shave. What is up with Microsoft's media team putting pictures up of such rough-looking people? It was completely different back in the 90s/early 2000s - people shown has class.

And he has tattoos as well! Yuck. That would put me off. Modern fashion...

Even if I can get it for $14.99, I still don't have the motive to do so. I just can't find any reason to upgrade.

So some stuffy, old, clean-shaven guy in a suit is what you want? Get out of here. It's 2013, and people can be themselves. Surprise.

This has been known for quite a while, probably since the release. I bought 3 license with this and a backup CD for a total of only $60 dollars.

I would have thought the offer would only allow one discounted Windows 8 upgrade per person.
Unless you bought 3 new PC's with Windows 7 pre-installed during the promotional period.

I would have thought the offer would only allow one discounted Windows 8 upgrade per person.
Unless you bought 3 new PC's with Windows 7 pre-installed during the promotional period.

That's right. Originally way back in like September this loophole existed, and you could just register without needing to enter your serial key. But MS fixed it a week or so later and since then you've had to enter your key.

It's a John Callaham article so that explains why it's so crap.

Unfortunately, if your PC shipped with 7 Home, you can't upgrade to 7 Pro for the price. As a student, I would like to run IIS for programming in ASP.NET (C#), but instead I have to use a VM, which isn't exactly what I want to do.

MaterialGuy said,
Unfortunately, if your PC shipped with 7 Home, you can't upgrade to 7 Pro for the price. As a student, I would like to run IIS for programming in ASP.NET (C#), but instead I have to use a VM, which isn't exactly what I want to do.

The keys do not validate the existance of a previous install of Windows 7. Do a clean install and you should be fine. These "upgrade" keys are actually full keys in disguise.

MaterialGuy said,
Unfortunately, if your PC shipped with 7 Home, you can't upgrade to 7 Pro for the price. As a student, I would like to run IIS for programming in ASP.NET (C#), but instead I have to use a VM, which isn't exactly what I want to do.

Windows 8 Pro has IIS with it; buy the $15 upgrade now while you can. IIS works great on Windows 8 for me!

MaterialGuy said,
Unfortunately, if your PC shipped with 7 Home, you can't upgrade to 7 Pro for the price. As a student, I would like to run IIS for programming in ASP.NET (C#), but instead I have to use a VM, which isn't exactly what I want to do.

Couldn't you just install Webmatrix that comes with a standalone IIS?

nvllsvm said,
Somehow _obtain_ a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate and upgrade that way.

Illegal Windows 7 + Legal Windows 8 Upgrade = Illegal Windows 8 and Wasted Cash

If the offer is valid until February 28, then why would the website stop working on February 1st?

Also, eligibility requires the PC to be purchased before January 31st... and the Media Center freebie has already expired (activate by January 31), so this is a very non-story.

Correct, the offers state, even in the e-mail, it is valid until Feb 28th.

"Until February 28, 2013, you're eligible to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99*."

"*Offer valid for new PCs purchased between June 2, 2012 through January 31, 2013. For complete details visit http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com "

So fact of the matter is, some people bought computers between those dates and just haven't heard about the upgrade program or have not gotten around to registering yet. The date of the program ending and the date of the PC purchase are 2 separate things.

So this story about, "... if you lie" is akin to promulgating piracy and deceit to obtain eligibility for a well-publicized discount program. (All brick and mortar stores have nice signs, brochures, and salespeople encouraging shoppers to "buy now and save later.")

I'm still unsure why this is being characterized as a loophole instead of a legislatively-mandated availability period for customers to register for their discounts as consumer protection laws mandate.

Exactly. Some people are confusing the date limit on the PC purchase which was January 31st and the date people can still apply for the upgrade which ends on February 28th.

No, they did it because they subconsciously love screwing up legit customers! Whoever cheated before and after the program started didn't have any problems while on the two computers I bought on sale in october neither of the two requests was accepted because of issues with the product key (because apparently it matters when the vendor bought the PC, not the customer, yet that's not written anywhere on the website so almost everybody who bought their computer during clearance sales got screwed). I gave up on one computer and bought the full license and I'm still mailing back and forward with photos of receipt/product keys/serial number for the other yet they still haven't given me the damn upgrade key. Awesome service, Microsoft. As usual only pirates always have it easy.

Not true on that. I bought a clearance computer from Wal-Mart back in December that Windows 7 on it and was able to get the discounted code. Same with someone who lied and bought an HP computer a year ago.

Davo said,
Not true on that. I bought a clearance computer from Wal-Mart back in December that Windows 7 on it and was able to get the discounted code. Same with someone who lied and bought an HP computer a year ago.

Just because you were lucky and got a recent computer it's a lie? As the tech support told me it depends on when the shop where you bought the computer had actually received the computer from the distributor/manufacturer, yours was certainly in the time-frame valid for the upgrade if you were asked for the product key during the upgrade and it worked. The guy who managed to get the key with an 1 year old computer probably activated it before they started making product key checks mandatory: before and during the first days of october, like you can again do now, you could have written anything you wanted in the registration form and you would have still got the key. I just wanted to get two legitimate keys for my computers, screw me, right?