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Windows 10 Free for Pirated Versions Too

In what may seem like a bizarre move, Microsoft said its free Windows 10 upgrade offer also applies to those with pirated older versions of the operating system.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's operating systems group, made the startling announcement at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), taking place this week in Shenzhen, China.

Microsoft earlier this year said it will offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users. The offer, which will also include earlier versions of Windows Phone, is good only for one year after the release of the new operating system and doesn't apply to all enterprise users.

Given the vast majority of all PC software in China is said to be pirated, Myerson chose a fitting place to announce the move. "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10," Myerson told Reuters. 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.

It appears Microsoft is hoping to get users of pirated software to use legitimate versions of Windows. Microsoft has tapped China-based PC makers Lenovo, Qihu 360 and Tencent to help in that effort.

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/18/2015 at 2:13 PM


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