Classic miscommunication from Microsoft. Recently, the company announced that those pirate versions of Windows running on millions of PC would upgrade for free to Windows 10. The news naturally, made everyone think that this was a big strategy from Microsoft to get as much people as possible into Windows 10 and users quickly hook into services that they may one day pay.
Although, there is some truth in that, the software maker is now stating that pirated versions of Windows can still upgrade to Windows 10 free, but they will not get a genuine license in the process. So, the non-genuine copies of Windows will stay non-genuine after upgrading to Windows 10.
Furthermore, Microsoft will not support versions of the operating system that are not properly licensed. The company also confirms that the plan to allow free upgrades for pirated copies of Windows is not limited to China, which means that it applies to all markets.
A statement from the company reads:
“We have always been committed to ensuring that customers have the best Windows experience possible. 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. Non-Genuine Windows is not published by Microsoft. It is not properly licensed, or supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. 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. According to industry experts, use of pirated software, including Non-Genuine Windows, results in a higher risk of malware, fraud (identity theft, credit card theft, etc), public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions.”
This explanation actually makes more sense, because what would stop anyone from building a custom PC with a non-genuine version of the operating system to then upgrade for free to Windows 10. This would be a backdoor that millions of people would use to get a free copy of Windows.
Microsoft plans to launch Windows 10 later this summer, which here in the United States ends on September 21. Now the company have roughly six months to finish and roll out its operating system for free to millions of PCs running genuine copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. It sounds like a mission impossible task, seeing that there still a lot of missing features, including Project Spartan, Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport biometric framework.