BIOS-Embedded Windows 8 Product Key

Advantages and Disadvantages of a BIOS-Embedded Windows 8 Product Key
By Yasir M Chohan

Windows 8 has become a very popular Operating System among Windows users. However, Microsoft has made things a little different for its users. Previously, the product key on a computer that had a pre-installed Operating System was printed on a sticker. For laptops, the sticker was placed on the bottom of the laptop near the battery compartment. On desktops, this sticker could be found on the side of the computer. However, Microsoft has decided to do things a bit differently by embedding the product key of the new Windows 8 Operating System in the BIOS of the computer. This move will affect the user in a number of ways as there are various advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the BIOS embedded product key

The first advantage that the user will get from this is that they do not need to look for the product key each time they need to re-install Windows. In the past, when re-installing the OS, the user had to look for the original key and input it before proceeding with the installation. This could sometimes be difficult for some users. The Certificate of Authentication sticker could wear out, and the digits would become difficult to read. In fact, the digits were sometimes too small to read. However, since the key is now embedded in the BIOS, the OS will recognize it immediately and proceed with installation without requesting for this activation information.


Users can now be sure that they are getting genuine Windows products. In the past, people would sell pirated OS and use a generic product key. However, after a while, the user would get a notification that their product is not genuine. This means that they would not get support or updates from Microsoft. However, if it is set in the BIOS, they will not need to get a generic product key from an untrustworthy source.

Microsoft itself will benefit a lot from this. In the past, people used to share product keys. This increased the opportunities of copyright infringement and piracy. However, if the activation details are embedded in the BIOS, they cannot be used by another computer. This will reduce the instances of piracy and sharing of activation details.

Disadvantages of setting product keys in the BIOS

The fact that the activation details cannot be used on any other computer could be disadvantageous for some users. For example, in case the PC or laptop dies or the motherboard stops functioning, the Operating System dies with it. This means that they cannot attempt to re-install the system after they replace the motherboard. This is because the activation details were locked in the original BIOS.

Also, each key is tied to a PC. Therefore, if a PC dies, and the owner is forced to buy a new one, they will have to buy another OS as well. They will not be able to use the installation disc that they already have on this new computer.

This new route that Microsoft has taken has both advantages and disadvantages. However, unless one damages their computer or motherboard, they will be able to enjoy the use of the OS without any problems.

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