Windows 10 won’t be free for pirates after all

Microsoft over the weekend confirmed that users running non-genuine versions of Windows will not receive a free upgrade to Windows 10. While Windows chief Terry Myerson previously told Reuters that both genuine and non-genuine PCs would receive the upgrade, Microsoft has now seemingly backtracked on the other.

"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," said Myerson in a post on the Windows blog. "In addition, in partnership with some of our valued OEM partners, we are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state."

"Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together." 

Specifics of these offers are yet to be confirmed.

When an install of Windows is flagged as non-genuine, the operating system's desktop will be watermarked to notify the user.

"Non-Genuine Windows has a high risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions," said Myerson. "Non-Genuine Windows is not supported by Microsoft.”

Windows 10 is on track for a winter release.

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