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Free Windows 10 Upgrades for Pirates Still Not Genuine

Microsoft's announcement earlier this week that users of pirated versions of its PC operating system can also take advantage of its free Windows 10 upgrade offer has an important caveat: it's no more official than the bootlegged version.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's operating systems group, made the head-scratching announcement during Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC)  this week in Shenzhen, China. Talking up Microsoft's January announcement that users of Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows Phone could upgrade their systems to the new Windows 10, Myerson told Reuters: "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10."

Microsoft's goal is to "re-engage" with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he told the news service, though he declined to elaborate. Given 90 percent of Microsoft software used in China alone is said to be pirated, that's a lot of free software. But that begs the question: why buy the software when you can get a bootlegged version for a fraction of the cost, if not free? Answering that question, Microsoft issued a statement which points out that if you're upgrading your pirated software, you still have an unlicensed version of Windows 10.

"We have always been committed to ensuring that customers have the best Windows experience possible," according to the statement. "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."

By tapping China-based PC makers Lenovo, Qihu 360 and Tencent, Microsoft is hoping it'll convince customers to buy legitimate licensed versions of Windows.

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/20/2015 at 11:38 AM


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