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No Free Lunch: Microsoft Wants Pirates to Pay for Genuine Windows 10

In early March, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced that it would make Windows 10 a free upgrade for users running pirated versions of the operating system. While this would be an interesting move, especially considering the high rates of piracy in some markets like China, it turns out this out this is not the case.

In a recent posting on the Windows blog, Microsoft crushes hope for those looking to upgrade their pirated copy of Windows.

Will Windows 10 be free for pirates?

“While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state.”

This means that users with pirated copies of Windows will be able to upgrade to Windows 10, however the upgraded version of Windows would not be valid. There will also be a watermark on the screen alerting the user to this and suggesting that they upgrade. It’s not yet known if Microsoft will cripple some features of the operating system after a certain amount of time.

For those that have genuine version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 nothing has changed: you will still be able to receive the free upgrade.

Microsoft has publicly said that there will be fairly generous incentives to upgrade to Windows 10.

  • Howards_cat_Tarzan

    *hint* Pirated versions are genuine. All pirates uses the same crappy h*ck that have existed since MSFT beginning: emulating the BIOS of a PC manufacturer since they don’t need serial to get genuine.

    The real question is this: What is the status of Beta Win10? When Win8 was in beta stage: The win8 beta was counted as a genuine windows installation and gave the beta tester a really cheap upgrade price to Win8.
    Will MSFT treat beta 10 the same? Does these count as genuine installations = free upgrades? (and if so: why not just install the win10 beta = get free win10?)

    • Jeffrey Byers

      1) Pirate is NOT genuine and MS can tell. The have a list of codes to go by so it can compare to what you have.

      2) Win10 Preview will expire in several months. No cheap price as it’s a free Upgrade to W7/W8. (If cheaper for limited time to non-upgraders is possible but no announcement yet).

      3) W8 cheap price ($40USD) was a limited time offer for anybody not just testers. I know I bought a copy to upgrade my dad’s Vista machine.