The term OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) is misleading to some extent, as OEMs are the manufacturers selling other companies products. You must be wondering, how it relates to your situation. A machine pre-loaded with Windows 8 is precisely called an OEM machine. With the release of Windows 8, for the first time, OEM machines came to the market without any sticker having product key on it. However, it does not mean that the concept of PID (Product Identity) is been abandoned. In these subjected gadgets, The ID is embedded or encrypted in the uEFI or BIOS firmware chip.
You do not need to have concerns about the product key, while re-installing a fresh copy of Windows 8. The machine would never require a product key for a similar version, due to the reason of its detection from BIOS. On your first logon, you will be amazed to find out that the operating system is already activated. In a point of fact, the manufacturers may never allow us to sneak into BIOS and sniff out the original ID. However, if you succeed in doing so, by an expert means, it would not help you in any way. Indeed, Windows 8.1 has its own set of Product keys and shall never accept the serial of a prior version.
The two core ways to update from Windows 8 to 8.1 are through Windows Store and IOS. Those having OEM PCs or machines with pre-installed Windows 8 are directed to promote their selves to 8.1 via Windows Store. Technically, the upgrade process should not ask for a product key while upgrading through this channel. If it does in your case, here is one.
Enter the product key manually (do not copy/paste) without dashes (hyphens). Most probably, your system will trigger a quantity of problems after installing this upgrade, ranging from a blocked marketplace to misconfigured synchronizations. So there are high chances of your rolling back to the earlier version you already had. Do not be anxious, as the version is still loaded with bugs. A wise decision, however, would be to wait for a GA (General Availability) release version. Rather be tolerant, because the official release of Windows 8.1 is a few weeks away. According to the authorities, the product is scheduled to hit the markets on Friday October 18, 2013.
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