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Are you anticipating the Windows 10 release When Does Windows 10 Come Out, How Can You Get It & What Happens to the Technical Preview? When Does Windows 10 Come Out, How Can You Get It & What Happens to the Technical Preview? Windows 10 is coming soon. Still confused about how the upgrade will work and wondering about the timeline? We have some answers, although more questions remain. Read More  as much as we do?

Microsoft surprised many people earlier this year with their announcement that users with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 licenses will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Not content with blowing our minds with a free operating system, it was announced that even pirates would receive the upgrade, although their Windows copy will remain non-genuine.

As the Windows 10 release date looms large, the prices for legitimate Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 licenses is steadily dropping off as their market value loses power. Whether you own a pirated copy or are still running a version of Windows that doesn’t qualify for a free upgrade, there has never been a better time to modernize or legitimize your Windows license. Just make sure your system can handle Windows 10 Is Your Computer Compatible with Windows 10 & Can You Upgrade? Is Your Computer Compatible with Windows 10 & Can You Upgrade? Windows 10 is coming, possibly as soon as July. Are you eager to upgrade and will your system be eligible? In short, if your computer runs Windows 8, it should also run Windows 10. But... Read More .

We’ll show you some of the best places to pick up a Windows product key Microsoft Retires Windows 7: This Is How You Can Still Get A Copy Microsoft Retires Windows 7: This Is How You Can Still Get A Copy Windows 7 Home and Ultimate editions have been retired. If you want to get a computer without Windows 8.1, your options are limited. We have compiled them for you. Read More .

Bonanza

Bonanza is an online marketplace that claims to “remove the technical expertise needed to build a profitable online business.” You can find all manner of useful and useless tat on Bonanza, and Windows license keys are amongst the pile.

Bonanza Windows Key

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I picked up a Windows 7 Ultimate key for around $35, received it within an hour, processed it,  verified it with the Microsoft Key Checker, and left the appropriate, thankful feedback. Bonanza is still relatively unheard-of, despite featuring alongside Etsy, Amazon, and eBay in Time Magazine, and as such you can find an absolute Windows license key bargain.

Prices: From around $35 for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

G2A

One of the largest global marketplaces for marked down Steam-keys is also home to a number of legitimate Windows 8 license keys Need A Legal & Cheap Windows 8 License? These Are Your Options Need A Legal & Cheap Windows 8 License? These Are Your Options Windows is expensive. Competitors offering free upgrades and rumors about a free Windows 10 make it hard to tolerate that fact. Meanwhile, the options for the budget-conscious are limited, but you can save on Windows... Read More , covering Standard, Professional, and Enterprise, in both 32 and 64-bit flavors.

G2A Windows Key

G2A also offers a range of languages and locations to buy from, as well as including the option to protect your purchase with the G2A Shield.

Prices: From around $22 for Windows 8, but nothing for Windows 7.

Amazon

 

If you poke and prod Amazon a bit, it will reveal its soft underbelly. This is where the Windows 7 and Windows 8 licenses are kept Four Places To Find Your Windows 8 Product Key Four Places To Find Your Windows 8 Product Key With Windows 8, finding the 25-digit product key got harder. But you still need it to download installation media or install on a machine that didn't come pre-installed with Windows 8. Read More . Amazon offers a confusing range of prices for Windows license keys; presumably relating to the presence of actual Microsoft sanctioned products delivered directly by Amazon, and individual vendors undercutting what now seems quite a large layout for two aging operating systems. There are also a number of “open-box” offers, bringing the price as low as $30 in some cases.

Amazon Windows

If you can spend the time searching for the right deal, you’ll save some serious pennies.

Price: From around $30 for both Windows 7 and Windows 8 – but as high as $100 direct from Amazon. Go figure!

MicrosoftSoftwareSwap

This is a subreddit – a subsection of the news aggregator and social media network – dedicated to swapping Microsoft software. It isn’t all swapping, either. You can buy Windows 7 and Windows 8 product keys to upgrade with, as well as all manner of Office, Windows Server, Windows Project, Vision, and more, whilst each Seller is verified.

Subreddit Windows Key

However, how much this verification actually means is unclear, but there does appear to be an active administration and vendor community relationship, plus some very low prices. I would be wary, but not outright skeptical as I’ve had some outstanding opportunities in life through Reddit – this job being one of them!

Subreddit Rules

Price: Ridiculously low – Windows 7 and Windows 8 from around $15

PriceGrabber

PriceGrabber is another site that takes a little sifting. There are some excellent deals to be had, but you have to track them down with a little sleuthing, and sometimes it’s a case of “right time, right place.” If you do have time to perceiver in pursuit of a product key, you can find some reasonable discounts.

Price: Windows 7 starting from around $60, Windows 8 from around $70

Yard Sale/Garage Sale/Car-Boot Sale

This is a much less technological based approach to upgrading your system, but you get the added pleasure of fingering through other peoples stuff as you pretend you’re interested in buying their serviette holders. I picked up an aging Windows 7 machine at a UK car-boot during this week for grand sum of £10 ($15!), and can take the hard-drive from one machine, place it my own, and keep the extras for spares and repairs.

Yard Sale

It is getting to that time of year, too – spring has sprung, and summer isn’t far off. Keep your eyes peeled!

Price: Varied, but you’ll be able to barter for the best deal.

A Few to Avoid

Of course, in the search for cheap Windows license keys, you’ll certainly run into some scams. That search combination – “cheap” “Windows” “license” “keys” – will reveal thousands of sites desperate for your money. Avoid them like the plague. The job is becoming more difficult as scammers up their games to appear increasingly legitimate, and as we’ve shown with our legitimate sources, Windows license keys can indeed be that cheap.

  • MrHighTech – duplicate addresses, invalid VAT handling, multiple forum threads discussing scam
  • Pay4VIP – blocked WHOIS, invalid receipt management, countless forum threads advising scams and duplicate keys, no HTTPS.
  • WINDOWS7ANYTIMEKEY – duplicate addresses, forum threads advising of scams, based in China

N.B: not all companies selling Windows licenses in China are illegitimate, but there is a large propensity for fake keys from the region.

These were three I found within seconds – there are literally thousands more of these sites waiting to swipe your cash. So before committing to purchasing a Windows license key, complete this very small check list:

  • Install the Web of Trust extension for your browser. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer. It provides reputation ratings based upon customer feedback, and can be a real life/wallet-saver.
  • If it is a site you’ve never used, and looks somewhat iffy, Google “site name+scam” to reveal any reservations other consumers have had, or bad experiences people are blogging about.
  • If you can, pay using PayPal, a credit card, or a single-use debit card. Don’t provide scammers with any ammunition!
  • Make sure your purchase session is secured with HTTPS. You can grab a really handy Chrome extension Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions The standard Chrome experience can be made so much better with a handful of extensions. Read More that creates a secure connection everywhere.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

Are you upgrading before the Windows 10 release? What has prompted your move? Let us know below!

Image Credits: money in the glass via Shutterstock, Yard Sale via Flickr user r. nial bradshaw

  1. Amanda Green
    July 22, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Get official Office 2016 Product Key from here:
    #plus.google.com/113990216221163079769/posts/iuuYmjB12Jv
    Works like a charm.

  2. Paul
    July 11, 2016 at 2:45 am

    Found a guy at Bonanza. Great experience.
    Thanks for the info

  3. Cynthia Davidson
    July 5, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Just like me, not a master of the computer, I believe many of us may get stuck with the computer problem.
    #plus.google.com/111456882116706313219/posts/jfK63pskHZp

  4. Daryl Sigmund
    April 21, 2016 at 11:08 am

    You can just go to reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/licencekeyswap/
    and get the key for 15$ from vendors there, i got windows 10 and office 2016 there :)

    • Dolf van Asbeck
      August 1, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      Reddit notice that this community was banned 2 months ago (at 2 August 2016)

  5. Lisa
    April 5, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    So it's cheaper to buy windows 7 or 8 and then upgrade to windows 10, right?

    What if one day you have to reinstall the operating system, will it go back to windows 7 or 8, or does it stay at windows 10?

  6. Tome
    February 3, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    As of early Feb 2016, Prices are now jacked up on all Windows 7/8 due to refugees fleeing the the grasp of Windows 10

  7. Vincent Bartolillo
    August 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    If I bought a copy of windows 8 from one of these sites and installed it on a computer that I'm building, will I still be eligible for the free windows 10 upgrade? Or does that upgrade apply only to people who had Windows 7 or 8 before 10 was released. Thanks!

    • Connor
      November 20, 2015 at 12:53 am

      Yes, that's what I'm doing, the oem version has upgrade compatibility.

  8. Ze Za
    August 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

    This website is a scam. Sells product keys that can be found on the internet. They activate but are not genuine. Microsoft has blocked the codes.
    They do not respond to emails and refuse to refund.
    Do not use.

  9. rick_irs
    August 3, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I got carried away from this post and went to G2A.com to get cheap windows original 8.1 key, spent about $41 along with their protection service and I got a product key from all those "pirated keys" you can find easily online through a simple search like "windows 8.1 keys list" .

    So, G2A.com is nothing but proving as platform to promote PIRACY and is also receiving commissions from those PIRATES in every sales.

    Eventually it looks like even the author of this POST was fooled as earlier the keys they provided used to work on any installation even though was not genuine , I don't know why but I think was something from the time of "Preview" release of windows 8.

    Please don't mislead people, hopefully you are not paid from G2A.com to make such posts.

    • t1100
      January 23, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Original clés d'activation office 2010 & 2013 seulement cle "txt"
      Windows Server 2012 & 2008
      Windows 7 pro / Ultimate / home prem
      Windows 8 pro
      Windows 8.1 pro
      Windows 10 pro
      J’ACCEPTE L'ECHANGE

  10. zinsho
    July 31, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Have to agree with the recommendation for G2A. https://www.g2a.com/r/low-cost-win-81pro sells for ~$40USD (Site offers for 41.55 with marketplace offers for less). Add $1.10 for G2A Guard (Guaranteed Valid Key).

    Once key is purchased takes ~5 minutes for the G2A Guard to validate the key. Click the Captcha (I am not a Robot) and select the right type of images and your key is delivered then and there.

    Microsoft still provides the 8.1 upgrade/iso creator at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media. Just download, burn and install with your new key.

    Install all Windows Updates and your copy is valid for Windows 10 upgrade at a fraction of the cost.

  11. Usman Bin Younos
    July 31, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Great Article ! Exactly what I was looking for. I found Microsoft selling the key on Amazon for about $65 and G2A has some starting from $35. One of the cheapest ways to get Windows 10. Bonanza returned almost no reasonable results.

  12. Paula Santos
    June 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    What versions are we safe to buy?
    For example: If i go to g2a.com i see "Windows 8.1 Pro CD-KEY Global" and "Windows 8.1 Pro OEM CD-KEY Global" ...
    I'm safe to buy OEM versions?

  13. Mike Morris
    June 4, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Got a cheap copy of windows 7 ultimate for 30$ on Bonanza. Awesome! I have been running pirated windows 7 ultimate for years and couldn't go on windows update. I got a key and an iso disc image emailed to me within 3 hours of making my order. Now I can upgrade to windows 10. I am very satisfied.

    • Zoran
      June 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      You CAN easily update pirated Win7. No problem at all.

      Btw, I don't think I will update from Win7 to Win10. Main reason: I hate this new ugly flat design.

  14. Mike Vertx
    June 2, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    thanks for the post and info, helped me out in resolving a home-made server needing genuine windows solution.

    • Gavin Phillips
      June 3, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      No problem at all. Thanks for reading!

  15. Kevin Potts
    June 2, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Any recommendations for cheap Adobe Acrobat licenses? I've been using freeware alternatives for years, but after getting the chance to try Acrobat, I'm sold.

    • Gavin Phillips
      June 3, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Lowest I can find is £100-£120, but the sites aren't verified. Acrobat license prices remain stubbornly high as they are not distributed like MS. As in there are no different versions for OEM, Retail etc, there are just different levels of the software. Have you tried NitroPDF?

  16. Alun Hassall
    June 2, 2015 at 9:04 am

    You mention a microsoft key checker. Where can I find that?

  17. James Van Damme
    June 2, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Better deal: Linux for free, forever.

    • Gavin Phillips
      June 3, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Not everyone's cup of tea, but you're right: Linux is free each time, all the time. I think many MS don't want to switch, and this is a prime opportunity for many with counterfeit MS licenses to legalise.

  18. James Van Damme
    June 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Let's compare.... Elementary....$0 Ubuntu.........$0 Mint..............$0 OpenSUSE...$0 Zorin.............$0 Red Hat........$349/yr. Android-x86..$0 Raspian.........$0 SteamOS......$0 CentOS.........$0 Windows 7 ....$15 and up. Well, my mind's made up. Mint it is.

  19. likefun butnot
    May 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I still have approximately sixteen bajillion Windows license keys from MSDN and Action Pack subscriptions I've had for one reason or other and I'm certain they all still work. I'm sad that the Action Pack program is gone; I used to tell home users that it was the cheapest way to get legal on Windows and Office or to upgrade their software. At $300 for one year of access, Microsoft was providing up to 100 activations for some of its most popular software. Anyway, I suspect a lot of the people selling on Reddit are selling keys from Action Pack subs. That's against the terms of service, but the keys are valid and no different from any other retail key so far as end users would be able to tell. I've had good luck with keys and COAs from buycheapsoftware.com.

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