Leaked copies of Windows 8 can be activated by using nothing more than the product keys that Microsoft supplied for the Windows 7 Beta program, according to reports from users that jumped the gun and started testing Windows vNext already.
Some unofficial Windows 8 testers even note that additional Windows 7 product keys, including those offered for the Release Candidate (RC) and RTM development milestones of Windows Vista’s successor also work to activate the next version of Windows.
I have seen reports of this with Windows 8 Milestone 1 (M1) Build 7850, the first release that was leaked, but more users are confirming them to be true in regards to Windows 8 Milestone 2 (M2) Build 6.2.7955.0, which made its way into the wild this past weekend.
But the results don’t really seem to be consistent across the table. While some testers reveal that Windows 8 activation using Windows 7 product keys worked seamlessly, there are others claiming that the process failed to complete successfully.
And then there are users noting that while normal online activation was unsuccessful, they did manage to activate Windows 8 M2 Build 6.2.7955.0 over the phone.
It must be noted that simply activating one of the leaked copies of Windows 8 does not grant users access to the hidden features that the software giant packed into Windows vNext.
New features and components such as Webcam, the Login UI, TaskUI, PDF Reader and Immersive Browser remain locked even if the leaked copies of Windows 8 are activated properly.
Of course, a few cracks are already available in the wild, enabling testers to bypass the Windows 8 activation process entirely, while also removing any time-bomb limitations, and even unlocking all the goodies introduced by Microsoft for Windows 7’s successor.
What about you? Those of you already testing Windows 8, what has your experience with the OS been so far?