If I pay the $39.99 for the upgrade from Windows 7, will I still be able to use my Windows 7 license on another PC? I know it probably isn't supposed to work, but does anyone know for sure?
If you upgrade your Windows 7 license to Windows 8 then you give up your right to the Windows 7 license you upgraded until such time the Windows 8 (upgrade) license is not being used to upgrade the Windows 7 license in question.
If you "downgrade" back to Windows 7 on the same computer then your allowed to upgrade some other eligible Windows 7 license. I suggest you read the follow article over at www.zdnet.com
One of Ed Bott's Comments:
The upgrade does not magically transform an OEM license into something that can be transferred. The upgrade can be removed from the original PC and transferred to a new PC. The new PC has to have a license that qualifies it for an upgrade.
If you read the post carefully, you will see that the proof of license for an upgrade is the key plus proof of purchase. You can sell the upgrade product (download or box) to someone else if you remove it from the PC where you installed it. OR you can sell the upgraded PC (hardware with original license, COA, and upgrade) to someone else, as a total package. What is unclear about that?
In other words you don't get to turn a single license into two because you purchase the upgrade. Its still a single license, and it can be used to upgrade any eligible license, it also can be transfered between computers and used on a single machine at a time.
Of course how exactly they will enforce their license is not clear. I suspect you could get away upgrading Windows 7 License A to Windows 8 and then install Windows 7 ( License A ) on another computer because lets face it Microsoft is unlikely to know what the Windows 7 license key was after the upgrade happens.
Edit: I provided additional clarification in my last statement.
Here is what I did in a similar case:
install windows and enter product key
try to activate online. if ok, then you are done.
if not, call the number shown, and explain that your hardware changed, and would microsoft be kind enough to give you a new code. it seems to work.
not sure if the policy has changed though as the last time i did it is about 2 years back when I was doing some IT support, with different windows versions.
Microsoft upgrade licences usually say
After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from.
Luckily, Microsoft can't have you declared an outlaw and therefore legally have a bounty-hunter slay you and seize all your possessions. I imagine they make some efforts to make life harder for people who willfully break the terms of the licences though.