Users running pirated copies of Windows 8 Pro can reportedly upgrade to a fully licensed and permanently activated version of the OS by simply installing a free Windows 8 Media Center upgrade offered by Microsoft.
The relatively simple technique that essentially allows users to get Windows 8 Pro for free was described late Tuesday on Reddit by a user named “noveleven” who claims to have successfully tried it out. At least one other Reddit user confirmed that it works in the same discussion thread.
Microsoft currently allows Windows 8 Pro users to gain the Windows Media Center (WMC) feature set for free by downloading and installing a Windows 8 Media Center pack from its website. This offer was launched on 26 October and is scheduled to run until 13 January 2013. Users only have to register with a valid email address and they will receive a valid product key which they can use during the upgrade.
Upgrade process doesn’t check if the key is valid
However, the problem is that the upgrade process doesn’t check if the existing product key is valid or not, as long as the system appears to be activated, noveleven said. Users who install Windows 8 Pro without paying for a license currently activate their systems by using rogue KMS (Key Management Service) servers that accept any product key as valid.