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147 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Choice
I would give this a 5 star, but the price. I could not get a new laptop without Windows 8 on it, at least where I was looking for laptops. My laptop (a Dell) came with Windows 8 and I had heard all these horror stories about it and was actually a bit leery. Got my Dell laptop from Costco because they have a no questions ask policy on returning things and there is a...
Published 11 months ago by DV

versus
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It works, but there's an update bug that you have to workaround. (Details below)
Let me start by saying that Windows 8.1 pro pack upgrade (Windows 8.1 pro with Media Center) is a very stable and fast product. It's not drastically different from Windows 8.1 (standard/core edition), but it does include Windows Media Center that many home users are wanting to use. It also has many business security and administration features.

Microsoft should...
Published 10 months ago by Nick


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It works, but there's an update bug that you have to workaround. (Details below), February 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Let me start by saying that Windows 8.1 pro pack upgrade (Windows 8.1 pro with Media Center) is a very stable and fast product. It's not drastically different from Windows 8.1 (standard/core edition), but it does include Windows Media Center that many home users are wanting to use. It also has many business security and administration features.

Microsoft should offer Windows Media Center as a $49.99 upgrade, instead of forcing the user to pay $95+ for Pro and not require any additional features aside from Windows Media Center. Windows Media Center used to be included FREE with Windows 7 Home Premium, so this is basically a revenue generating move, because less PCs are being sold these days and not many people are going to watch Windows Media Center on a tablet, but I digress...

For the non-technical among you, who purchased a new PC and want to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 8.1 Pro with Media Center, this upgrade will work. The issue is that Windows 8.1 standard edition has a BUG that makes it confusing to install this upgrade.

If you follow the steps below, you should be able to easily upgrade your Windows 8.1 tablet/PC. I know there are other posts on Amazon and around the internet that tell you what to do, but the steps below hold your hand from beginning to end. No prior technical troubleshooting experience required.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upgrade Procedures:

1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap the magnifying glass icon (Search) that appears.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and click the magnifying glass icon (Search) that appears.)

2. Enter "System" in the search box, then click on the "System" icon.
(Should be the 3rd or 4th icon in the list. DO NOT click on "System Information" nor "System Configuration"...ONLY click the icon with the single word "System")

3. At the top of the "System" window, under the "Windows edition" section, click the link labeled "Get more features with a new version of Windows".

4.Click "I already have a product key".

5. Enter your product key and click Next.

6. Now the fun begins!! You will get an error message that says "This product key didn't work. Check it and try again" or a similar message. You need to IGNORE THE ERROR MESSAGE! (The error message is a bug in Windows 8.1).

7. Restart your tablet/PC. ***The add-on features will begin to install themselves immediately on the restart.***

8. Once all the features are installed and Windows boots you now need to activate with the new product key you purchased. (Even though you entered your new product key in step #5, Windows didn't save it due to the bug in step #6 and installed with a generic product key).

9. To activate with the new product key swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap the magnifying glass icon (Search) that appears. (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and click the magnifying glass icon (Search) that appears.)

10. Enter "activate" in the search box and click the first icon labeled "See if Windows is activated".

11. Click "Change Product key".

12. Enter the product key you purchased from Amazon.

13. After a few moments you should now see that Windows is activated!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Choice, January 7, 2014
By 
DV (United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro Pack (Win 8.1 to Win 8.1 Pro Upgrade) - Key Card (License)
I would give this a 5 star, but the price. I could not get a new laptop without Windows 8 on it, at least where I was looking for laptops. My laptop (a Dell) came with Windows 8 and I had heard all these horror stories about it and was actually a bit leery. Got my Dell laptop from Costco because they have a no questions ask policy on returning things and there is a Costco near me.

Upon getting my laptop, I upgraded from 8 to 8.1 because it says for me to upgrade to the 8.1 Pro, I needed 8.1. It took awhile, maybe an hour or so (I was busy with other things, so I wasn't really timing this) to upgrade from 8 to 8.1.

I wished that they offered 8.1 Pro in the product key online without sending it to me, so I could've upgrade to 8.1 Pro all in the same day, but had to wait until Tues (I ordered Fri afternoon) to get the product key. As another reviewer said, the hardest part was typing in the 25 digit product key, which isn't hard.

I didn't time how long it took to upgrade, but I saw it start to upgrade and within a few minutes, it was all complete. No issues.

Each of the two upgrades I did for this computer weren't too bad. I know I could've purchased the product key at Microsoft, but they were charging a lot more than the $99 (includes tax, free shippiing), I think the price was like $199 or something like that. And even though I got a $25 coupon to use at the Microsoft store, that still wasn't less than Amazon.

To do all the updates for Windows 8, however, to catch it up, did take awhile. So, by the time I upgraded to the 8.1 Pro, all the required updates for Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 regular were all done.

Since my system is brand new with an Intel i7 core, 1 TB HDD, 8 GB RAM, that does help. I'm sure if I attempted to do this to my old Sony Vaio that is 7.5 yrs old, it would've crashed my system or it might have blown up. So maybe those that are having problems, maybe they haven't done all the other prior updates that they needed, something wrong with the system or heck, I don't know.

And, as with another user, I still think the $99 I paid was steep and Microsoft could've offered the Pro version at $40-50 would've been better.

Windows 8, 8.1, 8.1 Pro is quite different than Windows 7 or XP, which are the other systems we are running on our other computers in our home. This laptop does have a touchscreen, and if you don't have a touchscreen, you might not like Windows 8 as much. As for me, we have an iPhone, so that introduced me to the touchscreen thing and frankly, I am liking this.

I will update my review after I use the 8.1 Pro. The 8.1 is fine and I have no real issues with it yet.
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76 of 96 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good value for the money., October 26, 2013
By 
This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro Pack (Win 8.1 to Win 8.1 Pro Upgrade) - Key Card (License)
Let's see what Microsoft is offering for the money. I am supposed to pay Microsoft 95 dollars so that I can get Windows Media Center which was already included free as part of the operating system in Windows 7.

Microsoft wants you to pay 95 dollars to upgrade your Windows 8.1 Home Edition installation to Windows 8.1 Pro. You already paid for Windows 8.1 in the price of the computer. You could have upgraded from Windows XP or Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro for the same price. Why not give current Windows 8.1 users a break on the price, say maybe 40 dollars to upgrade to the Pro Pack?

In addition to Windows Media Center, you get Bitlocker (full disk) encryption, remote Desktop Connection and the ability to connect to a corporate/school network (Domain Join). None of these are really essential. The whole business of not including Windows Media Center as part of the operating system is ridiculous. If Microsoft has to charge for Windows Media Center for Windows 8.1, put it in the APP store for 10 dollars. This is what it would cost you to get Windows Media Center if you had Windows 8.1 Pro. But instead Microsoft is socking you for the upgrade to Pro before they will allow you to get Windows Media Center. (Windows Media Center is a program for recording live tv with a tv card in the computer).

Many people already have a license for Windows 7. It is a stable and user friendly operating system which includes Windows Media Center and a simple, reliable user interface. Rather than pay Microsoft another 95 bucks to get what was already included in Windows 7, I elected to use one of my licensed copies of Windows 7. Microsoft has really missed the need of their customers to have a simple all in one operating system which works well with no need for expensive extras. Rather than pay Microsoft another 95 dollars to get Windows Media Center, I installed Windows 7 on my home entertainment computer. I recommend you do the same or wait for Windows 9 which is already rumored to be coming late next year. By then, maybe Microsoft can work out the features and the pricing to make people want to buy the Windows operating system again!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Had trouble installing, but now works, February 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this to upgrade my new desktop computer, but when I tried to use it the Microsoft add features utility said it would not work. The system seized and I had to restart. When it came back up the upgrade was finished and working smoothly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a disc!, March 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro Pack (Win 8.1 to Win 8.1 Pro Upgrade) - Key Card (License)
Read carefully!!! There is no disc in this, just a box with the product key. The "PC disc" selection is incorrect.
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25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Far too complicated to be useful, October 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro Pack (Win 8.1 to Win 8.1 Pro Upgrade) - Key Card (License)
Installation
In the onset it appears to be simple. But in fact it can be a nightmare as was my case. After entering the product key a progress bar started going back and forth giving the impression it was progress. Then a message appeared. "Install failed, contact MS" and it exited. MS must have a contest on who can have the shortest most ambiguous messages or they are a message budget.
As FYI, my system was Windows 8 that I did the free upgrade to 8.1.
I contacted MS, I told them after several reboots, when I attempted to play a DVD, an message appeared that the media center was missing some video (note video) files. After a long discussion the MS support said "Because I did an upgrade, I did not have a 8.1 license key. I had to pay another $100 for the 8.1 license key." I hung up.
I then called the laptop manufacturer. Similar response, except this time "the license key is in the BIOS it can not be changed. You are stuck forever with windows 8." I hung up.
Then by accident I opened the desktop and noticed a message appear about dolby sound. I had sound so I was going to ignore it. But then thought. Why not? I re-installed the sound (note sound not video) card driver and the dolby drivers. As in it cann't hurt. But I will try it anyhow.
Now the media center worked just fine. No report of missing "video" files.

Post installation.
I wanted a simple DVD player like is on the mac's. Insert DVD and play, menu, forward, backward, and so on. Simple buttons. It seems MS decided lets see how complicated they could make the interface and added lots of useless gui objects.
It works, but in hind sight, it was a bad purchase. Oh and the media center only plays DVD's not Blu-Ray. I will have to get a 3rd party software package if I want to play them as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work at first, rebooted to resolve, February 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The product works for what it is intended. When I first put in the key, it took it fine, then stated there was a problem with the key, but after a reboot it worked fine. Units are Lenovo Yoga Pro that has 8.1 factory install.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awful, June 10, 2014
By 
Frederick S Bruckman (Burnham, Illinois USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It does what it's meant to do. Once you have Windows 8, this is the only way to access the premium channels with an hdhomeun prime and cable card. The thing is, it's still Windows 8. It's not just the new "features", like the touchscreen apps that don't work with the mouse--who wants to HAVE to touch their screen?--it's buggy: shortcuts pinned to the taskbar icons just disappear; if you accidently join a homegroup--and why else would you ever do that, because you don't need it to share printers or stream--an icon will be created on the desktop that won't go away, but not right away, only after a couple of power cycles. There's nothing on cable anymore but reruns, and I ended up cancelling cable. Anyone building a multimedia PC would be wise to stick to Windows 7. By the way, I had to run through the setup about ten times to get the premium cable channels to work, but we've come to expect that from all Microsoft products.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very simple upgrade if you understand what it does, May 15, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used this to upgrade a client's computer from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Professional. I literally took just a few minutes to perform the upgrade. One reason you might upgrade to the "professional" software it to enable features such as BitLocker, which you need to comply with HIPPA regulations. (not BitLocker, but hard drive encryption software, and yes I realize there are free alternatives) Also it gives you other networking options such as RDP. Just make sure you understand this will not upgrade your XP, Vista, or 7 machines to Win 8 Professional. It simply converts your 8.1 to 8.1 Pro.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth install, April 22, 2014
By 
LL "LL" (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Mostly I want to compliment AMAZON for the most excellent and very smooth download and install process of this software. Besides the ease of install, your software is in a "library" and I would think you could download it again if your computer crashed. The software key is noted in your account: very nice.

I don't think the upgrade was really worth it, however. I find Windows Media Center annoying and intrusive and the other do-dads weren't what I expected either.

I am hoping some of the utility features available will be useful in the future.
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Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro Pack (Win 8.1 to Win 8.1 Pro Upgrade) - Key Card
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