Microsoft made the odd announcement that everyone with a copy of Windows 7 or 8 will get a free update to Windows 10 — even if their copy of Windows 7 or 8 is pirated and unauthenticated. The only catch is that if your older version of Windows isn’t authenticated, your version of Windows 10 won’t be, either. So just hope you don’t have to call tech support.
Presumably the reason they’re doing this is to rope as many people into the latest version of Windows as possible. The more users you have, after all, the more potential customers you have on the Windows 10 app store.
“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,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “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.”