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article imageWindows 10 will be a free upgrade even to software pirates

By James Walker     Mar 18, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft has announced that users currently running pirated versions of Windows will be able to upgrade them for free to Windows 10 when it launches later this year in what could be a historic moment in the lengthy battle against software pirates.
Microsoft's Windows chief, Terry Myerson, announced the decision in an interview with Reuters. It is already known that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 for the first year after launch but nobody expected that even pirated copies of Windows would be able to upgrade.
Myseron said that "all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine" will be able to claim the free upgrade offer. How exactly Windows 10 will be made available for download is not yet known. It could be offered as a standalone download or through Windows Update or the Windows Store.
The decision to make Windows 10 available for free represents a new sales model for Microsoft who have traditionally charged large sums for an upgrade to new operating systems delivered on DVD. With Windows 10 designed to work across such a large array of devices, the old-style disc deployment no longer makes sense however.
Windows 10 for phones further complicates the situation as consumers are not used to having to pay for OS updates on phones. Yet Microsoft can hardly offer Windows 10 for phones for free while still charging for upgrades on tablets and computers, leading to the new free-for-all payment model. Microsoft still raises money from its other industries including the Xbox division and the company's range of hardware.
Reuters' article focuses on China. Myerson adds that Microsoft aims to "re-engage" the millions of Chinese Windows users who are known to run a pirated copy as their primary operating system. It was announced yesterday that Windows 10 will be launched in 190 countries worldwide this summer and China is one of the most important of them to Microsoft's new sales strategy.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Software, Upgrade
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