Just a few days ago I wrote about the special deals on upgrades and add-ons for Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS and in that post mentioned you could go ahead and grab the download and serial key for Windows 8 Pro and then install it later.

As of this minute I do not have any indication that you would not be able to do that.

However, based on an email from Microsoft this morning that folks who asked for the free Windows Media Center Pack Add-On for Windows 8 Pro received that waiting thing might not be possible because the two are tied together.

Here is a screenshot of the main part of that email:


Then if you go down into the small print you will see these details – emphasis is mine:

** Windows 8 Media Center Pack is available at no charge for a limited time only through the promotional page on If you obtain Windows 8 Media Center Pack through any other location, fees might apply. Offer valid from October 26, 2012, until January 31, 2013, and is limited to one product key per email address. In addition, each product key can only be used with one computer. You qualify for this promotion if your PC is running Windows 8 Pro. Additional hardware may be required to watch and record live TV. You must provide a valid email address to receive your Windows 8 Media Center Pack product key. This promotion ends on January 31, 2013; your product key must be activated no later than February 1, 2013. Microsoft will only contact you at the email address you provide to send you your product key and to remind you when the activation period for your product key is ending. Catalysis Corporation is a third-party company we use to collect subscription information and process the delivery of these emails. If you purchase a new PC with Windows 8 preinstalled and you later upgrade that PC with Windows 8 Pro Pack, Windows 8 Media Center Pack, a volume license edition, or a retail edition, you will no longer be able to install apps that are provided exclusively from your PC manufacturer through the Windows Store.

So how does the need to use the Windows Media Center Pack key before 01 February 2013 impact your ability to delay installing that upgrade to Windows 8 Pro you grabbed at $40? Well in order to use that media center key you must install it on Windows 8 Pro and there is the conundrum that develops due to this deadline.

I mean it was a free key so your technically not losing anything but if you got the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for a machine you want to eventual play DVD’s on then you may want to consider making that upgrade in the next six days. Otherwise, you will have to fork over $10 bucks for the media center key after upgrading to Windows 8 Pro.