In an unprecedented move by Microsoft, Windows 10 will a free upgrade even for users running illegitimate copies of previous versions of Windows, said Microsoft VP of Operating Systems Terry Myerson in an interview with Reuters. Myerson’s exact statement was:
“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.”
The announcement had also been made at the 2015 Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) conference in Shenzen, China. Reuters wrote that three-quarters of all PC software in China is unlicensed, and this new announcement is part of an effort to “re-engage” with users in China who have pirated past versions of Windows. These “qualified” non-genuine PCs are likely those running pirated copies of Windows 7 and 8, which are the two operating systems which will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 up to a year after its launch.
This development is only one of a recent series of radical moves by Microsoft, which includes the original announcement that the upgrade to Windows 10 would be free for Windows 7 and 8 users, as well as the announcement that the Internet Explorer brand would be ended and replaced with a new browser, currently code-named Project Spartan.