Pirates May Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free, But The Version Won’t be ‘Genuine’
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced its plans to offer all qualified PC users a free upgrade to Windows 10, even if they own a non-genuine copy of a Windows version. Initially, it was reported that this generous offer is only for Chinese pirates, but later Microsoft confirmed the update path for illegal Windows copies applies to pirates everywhere around the globe.
This rather lax policy towards piracy might be a move to get more people hooked into the Microsoft ecosystem, otherwise why would Microsoft give away Windows 10 for free?
Now it appears the Windows 10 experience won’t be the same as the pirates may be expecting. According Ars Technica, the users with pirated copies of Windows 7 or Windows 8.x version will be able to upgrade to Windows 10, but Microsoft will keep considering those PCs non-genuine. Microsoft told in a statement to the publication:
With Windows 10, although non-Genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license… If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade.
The above statement, however, didn’t make it clear what Microsoft means by a “non-genuine” upgrade. The publication asked the software giant to elaborate on its point of considering the Windows 10 upgrade as non-legit when installed on an unlicensed version, but the company didn’t respond.
As far as I understand from this scenerio, Microsoft is likely to place some kind of restrictions for those who end up with non-legit Windows 10. Or, the upgrade will allow Windows 10 pirates to tap into a “lite” version of Windows 10, which would arrive globally sometime “this summer.”
Some reports even claim that Microsoft might cut non-genuine Windows users from access to the Window Store or the Xbox Video Store, but that’s less likely to happen as the Redmond probably won’t want to turn away customers.
Still, anything we say at present as to what, exactly, Microsoft might be considering, will be a speculation. We’ll have to wait until the company clarifies on the matter. We’ll update you as soon as the story develops. Stay tuned to TechFrag!
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.