Microsoft Will Allow Pirates To Upgrade To Windows 10 For Free

Microsoft is quite serious about wanting everyone to upgrade to Windows 10 -- even folks who shouldn't normally qualify for a free upgrade.

Pirated copies of Windows have been around as long as copies of Windows have been around, and Microsoft's usual approach has been a range of security tools designed to verify that a specific copy of Windows was properly licensed.

That approach appears to be out the (ahem) window with Windows 10, with the software company announcing that as part of its plans to make Windows 10 a free upgrade for existing Windows users, anyone with a "non-geniune" -- that is, pirated -- copy of Windows 10 would also be eligible to upgrade.

The plan is apparently largely designed to tackle the wide scale problems of piracy in China specifically, but if you are running a hooky copy of Windows, your pirate ship just came in.

Microsoft yesterday confirmed that Windows 10 should see official launch sometime before August this year.

Microsoft tackles China piracy with free upgrade to Windows 10 [Reuters]


    Pirated Copies of Windows 10 could upgrade to a genuine copy? I thought the upgrade was for Windows 7 or 8.1 (desktop & phone) to Windows 10. This seems too good to be true to me - I bet this is still leading up to a subscription version.

      I think he meant pirated copies of Windows 7 or 8 right?

      I think you'll find if you are running a Pirate copy of Windows 7 or 8 you will be eligible to buy Windows 10 at the upgrade price.

      Essentially Microsoft is releasing the Upgrade version of windows for a lower price-point, to everyone. (To give you an idea - Windows 98 upgrade edition could only be installed on a PC running Windows already, so if you ever needed to install from scratch, you couldn't use your upgrade media. This limitation means it should he worth less because it can't be re-installed from scratch).

      So, in a what's-old-is-new-again strategy, just how you used to be able to install a pirate copy of Windows 95 to upgrade to your legitimate copy of Windows 98 'Upgrade Edition', you can now do the same with Windows 7/10.

        Microsoft has drastically changed their pricing structures over the last few years as well, so this is an ideal time to offer this upgrade. Versions prior to Windows 8 were quite expensive and the price pushed a lot of people to pirated versions. Windows 8 pricing was considerably more reasonable and Windows 10 is expected to be the same or better, so it's a good way of getting people who previously pirated because of the price point back on the genuine product path.

      Subscription model confirmed (after the first 12 months)

        Uh, what? Terry Myerson already explicitly confirmed there will be no subscription model for Windows 10.

          EDIT: I've heard differently. Guess we'll see...

          Last edited 19/03/15 3:41 pm

            You've heard differently from someone more senior than Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of Operating Systems at Microsoft? Do you have a link?

      Would people please stop saying this? I'm tired of correcting them.

    i used a pirate win7 to get a legit win8 for $40 on release, but can't wait for windows 10

    Wow, MS are really pushing for total Windows 10 dominance.
    Next MS will say Windows 10 is free to everyone because that's basically what it is with the pirate/upgrade deal.

    But I'm still sceptical about the 'for the first 12 months' they keep throwing around. I'm sure they're going to throw a subscription model in there.
    Unless they truly do want to just dominate the market.
    One OS across everything.

    So, the subscription model. . .
    One subscription fee across everything?
    Or a subscription fee per device the OS is installed on?

      There is no subscription model for Windows 10. The '12 months' thing is that the free upgrade offer is only available for 12 months. After that you have to pay to upgrade. They did the same thing with Windows 8 except it was a discounted upgrade instead of a free upgrade.

    So nobody thinks the free steam OS coming in November doesn't also have something to do with this?

      Steam OS has nothing to do with this. Absolutely nothing.

      If it has to do with any other company it's Apple giving OSX updates away for free. Steam OS isn't even a competitor.

    Win 10 upgrades for XP?

    Last edited 19/03/15 5:24 pm

      Nope, most XP machines don't really have the specs for a Windows 10 machine.

    You can upgrade for free yes, however, you will still have a non-genuine copy of Windows 10 and you won't have a license for it, it will ask you to activate!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now