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On Windows 8 Pro, I'm trying to add Windows Media Center using the Add features to Windows 8 dialog, but when I enter my product key I get the message This key won't work. Check it and try again, or try a different key.

Add features to Windows 8 error

I ditched my cable boxes for Cable cards, so I can't watch TV without Windows Media Center.

How can I install it? Do I need to buy a key for it?

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  • I am going to guess you won't be able Media Center until the GA release of Windows 8 in Oct. You also need to purchase the Media Center add-on, Windows 8 Pro DOES NOT INCLUDE IT, its just the only version eligible to purchase it. Besides....The price of said add-on has not been released, which means you cannot purchase it, and Windows 8 TechNet licenses might not even be eligble to purchase it.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 20, 2012 at 13:40

3 Answers 3

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Media Center is avaiable for free until Jan 2013, but you have to go to the microsoft website to get a a new key to install it, i.e. you can NOT use your Windows 8 installation key!!

Go to the following Microsoft page, enter your email address and they will email a key to add Media Center.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs

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After patiently waiting for the official launch of Windows 8 for my key to work, I was disappointed to see it didn't.

Fortunately though, until January 31st, 2013, Microsoft is offering the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free.

If you don't have Windows 8 Pro, or miss the offer deadline, you would have to buy a key by choosing I want to buy a key online. The same website has a deal for the Windows 8 Pro Pack which includes, the Windows 8 Media Center Pack.

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The key is public and free

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Also look in the FAQ at Microsoft under "Using Windows 8 Release Preview"

Not sure if this applies to RTM versions of W8.

EDIT: reports that this key does not work for RTM versions.

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  • I'm hesitant to try this due to that caveat at the end: "I was told that I must reactivate Windows, and it asked for a new product key. I entered the product key noted above, which worked." Aug 17, 2012 at 3:45
  • Its on the microsoft site also, this is for Release Preview, not sure what needs to be done if you are using RTM....windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/faq
    – Moab
    Aug 17, 2012 at 23:46
  • This key will not work for the RTM build currently available to MSDN/Technet subscribers. Aug 20, 2012 at 12:10
  • I hate to downvote an answer like this, but because the answer was directed towards the Release Preview version, this answer should simply be deleted.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 20, 2012 at 13:38
  • @Ramhound OP never clearly stated which version it was, I added the tag later to clarify. Thanks for the downvote.
    – Moab
    Aug 20, 2012 at 14:52

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