One can use the “Get Features with a New Edition of Windows”. Theoretically the following pathways are possible:
Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Core →Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre. Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre.
- Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre (Pro Pack).
Windows 8.1 SL Core → Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre.
- Windows 8.1 Core → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre (Pro Pack).
- Windows 8.1 Professional → Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre.
The pathways crossed out although theoretically possible are a complete waste of time and money.
The N versions are versions shipped without Media Player, Music, Video or Skype. These editions cannot be upgraded to Media Centre via “getting features with a new edition of Windows”.
- Core N → Professional N (Pro Pack N) → No further Upgrade
- Professional N → No Further Upgrade
Focusing on Media Centre in particular. Media Centre is marketed to cost £9.99 however Microsoft made Media Centre require a Windows 8.1 Professional despite being a feature marketed towards the Home sector. As most OEMs like Dell will preinstall Windows 8.1 Core/Home or Windows 8.1 SL Core/Home on most systems within the Home sector (where Media Centre is most likely to be used) for most intents and purposes it actually costs £99.99:
This program is not worth £99.99 given it does not have Blu-Ray playback and suites which do cost far less:
- Corel WinDVD http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp?pid=prod4090069
- CyberLink PowerDVD http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd-ultra/features_en_GB.html?&r=1
The Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Centre key can be added to the Windows 8.1 Professional install using “Get More Features with a New Edition of Windows” with the Media Centre Key likewise for Windows 8.1 Core and Windows 8.1 Core SL the Windows 8.1 Professional Pack can be also added using “Get More Features with a New Edition of Windows”.
The easiest way of adding the product key is via system by right clicking the start button (or pressing [Windows] and [x]) and then selecting system:
In system you should first check at the bottom that your old version of Windows is activated otherwise you may run into an issue upgrading to media centre.
In system select “Get more features with a new edition of Windows”.
Select “I already have a product key”
Enter in your Media Centre key:
Select Add Features
In my tutorial I have used generic keys for demonstration purposes so my Windows has not been activated.
You should pin the Media Centre icon to the Start Menu:
You can now use Media Center