I know we just reminded you last week that the price of Windows 8 is going up on February 1, but here’s a reminder for those of you who’ve already picked up Microsoft’s new OS at its lower introductory price: you may not have gotten Media Center automatically in the installation process, since it’s no longer included in the operating system, but you can still snag a free copy for now at Microsoft’s website. In just about a week, though, the media-slinging add-on will cost you $10 instead of the low, low price of free. The codecs and DVD licenses that are included in Windows all cost money — a decent amount of money in fact — and so Microsoft has started charging for a relatively expensive feature that only a small, dedicated audience actually uses.
You may have already applied for the code, in fact. That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed your free Media Center add-on. Any code you receive has to be entered by the stroke of midnight on the January 31, or it will turn into an unuseable pumpkin and go away for good. Once you have a key, redeeming it is easy, and it should be then locked in to your Windows Live account forever and ever.
To redeem your key, follow these steps:
- Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search).
- Enter add features in the search box, and then tap or click Settings.
- Tap or click Add features to Windows 8.
- Then tap or click I already have a product key.
- Enter the product key, and then click Next.
- Read the license terms, select the check box to accept the license terms, and then click Add features.