Microsoft will do anything to keep users hooked into Windows 10. The software giant has just announced that any PC running Windows will upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge, regardless if it’s a legal copy or a pirate version of the operating system.
Terry Myerson, head of the Microsoft’s operating system team, told Reuters that Microsoft will be “upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine or non-genuine, to Windows 10”.
It’s unclear what Myerson really meant as “qualified”. In the past, the software maker confirmed that current genuine Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 will qualified to upgrade for free. The second condition was that users must upgrade within the first year of the Windows 10 release to upgrade for free.
According to Microsoft, piracy is a big problem on the software business and more in China, where 75 percent of PCs run a pirated copies of Windows. This is a big decision the company is making to re-engage with millions of users who run pirated software.
Although, we already know that Windows 10 will be available this year, the company also confirmed today that the operating system will launch in the Summer, and this is the first time the company gives us a specific time frame for the release.
The Microsoft’s move on making Windows 10 free for pirate and genuine versions of the operating system should not come to a surprise. This is a new company embracing change and Microsoft has already made it clear that the money isn’t in the operating system, it’s on the online services and Office 365 subscriptions, making Windows 10 just a medium to reach those services.
It’s a long term investment, which if executed well, it will pay off in the end.
What do you think of this Microsoft move? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Update, March 20, 2015: Microsoft says that pirates can upgrade to Windows 10 for free, but the license will stay non-genuine.