Microsoft planning "attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers" to grab pirates

Windows 10 Desktop

We've known since January that Microsoft really wants to get people to upgrade to Windows 10: that's when the company announced that all Windows 7 and Windows 8 owners will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free during its first year of release. For awhile, there were some confusing headlines floating around that claimed even pirates would get Windows 10 for free. Microsoft has since clarified that non-genuine copies of Windows will remain non-genuine after an update to Windows 10, but they've also teased some special deals in the works to try to get pirated Windows users to go legit.

"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," wrote Microsoft's Terry Myerson in a recent Windows blog post.

We can only speculate on what that means at this point; it sounds like the big OEMs like Dell and HP will be the ones offering special deals to people who already own their systems. Those deals may not apply to a home-built system running non-genuine Windows.

Also, if you're curious what happens when you try to upgrade from 7/8 to Windows 10 using a non-genuine copy, Myerson clarified:

"When we can’t verify that Windows is properly installed, licensed, and not tampered with, we create a desktop watermark to notify the user...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. 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."

Recently, AMD's CEO stated that Windows 10 will be released at the end of July.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).