All Windows 10 Upgrades Will Be Free — Even if Your Copy is Pirated

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Microsoft has announced that it will give be giving free upgrades of Windows 10 to anyone who uses Windows right now—even if they're currently running pirated copies of the operating system.

Speaking to Reuters, Microsoft's operating system chief Terry Myerson explained that Microsoft will be "upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10." The move is apparently an attempt to "re-engage" users that currently run pirated software, particularly in China. Illegal version of Windows are a huge problem in the country: recent estimates suggest that 75 per cent of PCs in the country run pirated copies of the OS.

The move would appear to make sense. Microsoft has already announced that upgrades to Windows 10 will be free for the first year, aligning with the Apple strategy of making the OS essentially a free product. To bring everyone in line, it makes sense to offer the same upgrade to pirated copies — even if it does feel a little like rewarding bad behaviour.

Windows 10 will be available this summer. [Reuters on Re/code]