I have a computer with a windows 7 student licence key, from the Microsoft Academic Alliance. Which I have from when I was studying. Is it possible to upgrade it to Windows 8? Or do I need to buy a retail licence?
You can upgrade your Windows 7 student license to Windows 8.
The only requirement for the upgrade, as per the terms and conditions, is that you have a valid base license. A student license is still a valid license.
So, far from what I've read, Microsoft is offering Windows 8 for two prices at this point - $15 and $40.
The first ($15) option is for owners of Windows 7 PCs which have been purchased after June 02, 2012. This page can be found here.
The second ($40) is for everyone else who is
running Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 and is a regular Windows 8 Pro Upgrade license. This price is only valid until January 31, 2012 and the page can be found here.
So, essentially, yes - as long as you have a valid base install (Windows XP-7), you can upgrade to Windows 8.
If you are still have access to Microsoft Academic Alliance* they can provide you with a license key for Windows 8.
- It is now known as Dreamspark.