Microsoft revealed yesterday that it would offer the Windows 10 upgrade for free even to people with pirated versions of Windows. We wrote about this on DV Hardware over here but yesterday there was still quite some uncertainty about how this would work and people were quite surprised with this announcement.
We've come across some new information today which confirms that pirates from all over the world, and not just from China, will be able to upgrade their old operating system to Windows 10. However, one important new snippet of information is that this will not turn pirated copies into genuine versions of Windows.
The exact implications of this are still unknown but it seems one of Microsoft's major priorities is to make sure that Windows 7 doesn't become the next XP. As such, they want to move everyone to Windows 10 and will probably try to figure out a way to monetize pirated systems down the road.
Microsoft has issued the following statement in regard to upgrades for "non-genuine" PCs:
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.