Windows 8 Kills The 30 Day Activation Period

    August 22, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

I recently nuked my hard drive and had to reinstall Windows 7 on my machine. Unfortunately, I had lost my previous Windows 7 activation key and had to get a new one. The wonderful thing is that I could still use Windows while I was waiting to get my key thanks to the 30 day trial period that every Windows installation has. I would be hosed if this scenario happened on Windows 8.

A report from Computer World confirms that Microsoft will be getting rid of the 30 day activation period in Windows 8. The change comes from how Windows 8 handles activation in which the key must be provided at the start of installation. Those buying a new PC pre-installed with Windows 8 won’t have to worry about activation.

The change in activation directly applies to those who are upgrading from Windows 7 to 8. During the initial installation, it will first ask for the usual 25 alphanumeric code that came with the software. Failure to enter the code will stop the installation. In contrast, Windows 7 asks for the activation key near the end of installation. Users can skip this step and activate Windows at anytime during the next 30 days.

So why did Microsoft change their policy? It would appear that they no longer separate the operating systems when buying a retail version of Windows 8. Both regular Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are on the same disc. The activation key at the beginning determines which version to install. It makes sense, but it still feels like a slap in the face for those of us who relied on that free 30 day period more than once.

Fortunately for new PC buyers, you won’t have to worry about activation at all. Windows 8 will activated at the factory and be ready for use when it arrives on your doorstep. I would assume that new PCs would still come with activation keys in case you decide to reinstall Windows 8. Microsoft could also decide that you should have to buy a new license if you reinstall Windows 8.

As for Windows 8 Enterprise, it’s business as usual. Just like its predecessor, it will ship with a Key Management Service that’s activated by the host machine.

It’s strange really – Microsoft claims that Windows 8 is their most consumer friendly operating system yet. As far as usability goes, that may very well be the case. It couldn’t be further from the truth, however, when it comes to consumer rights. The removal of the 30 day activation period is just the latest in a string of actions that sees consumers getting the shaft including desktop users being forced to use the Windows 8 “Metro” UI or Microsoft blocking users from filing class action lawsuits.

  • http://www.hispacar.com Hispacar

    The question is, what happens when you have to re-fomrat the hard disk of a laptop computer which comes with Window 8 installed, but without a CD. Do you need to buy a new license in that case?

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      That’s one of the questions that’s up in the air right now. With Windows 8 already activated at the factory, will OEMs send Windows 8 discs with new laptops and desktops now? Even then, will the hardware still have the Windows sticker with activation key on it?

      • Dillon

        You can create recovery discs, most manufacturers allow the creation of such discs. Dell ships them with it. There is also a built in image to recover most laptops, formatting or deleting it not recommended.

  • Terry Henderson

    Self deprecation?

  • http://www.blackgate.net/blog/ bblackmoor

    As if I needed another reason not to buy Windows 8.

  • barikulkol

    use linux instead

  • tosif

    september 11 for latest activation no survey link direct download

  • http://None Unknown

    It is really sad to read that Microsoft would do this. Though it could easily be that many people have hacked, or unlocked versions of windows in the past without paying for it. Though I also have to say if Microsoft wasn’t so money hungry we would not hack their software. It is reasons like these that people tell Microsoft to shove it and we find ways in and make it free anyway. Note to Microsoft. We do not need to worry about suing you. We already can change the Metro UI if we do not want it, and if I pay for Windows and I have to pay again. Ummm you thought wrong. I will hack yo shit because I paid for it. Plain and simple.

  • SoCal71

    Just keep the code in a safe place and quit crying about it. Do you want Microsoft to reinstall it for you too?

  • humberto

    I just got a dell with win 8, customer asked to downgrade to win 7. Installed with other dell’s win 7 disc and it didnt ask for serials or anything, its activated now.
    No sticker with serial codes on new laptop, does it mean its already registered in MS database? maybe that is why win 7 is activated now without entering serial key? …