Pirates Might Not Be Entitled to Free Version of Windows 10

By | Mar 21, 2015 12:46 AM EDT

Microsoft has reversed its stance on pirates for Windows 10, revealing that in fact pirates who pick up the new operating system will be directed to a 'trial-esc' version of the update.

"We will provide a mechanism for non-genuine Windows 10 PC devices to 'get genuine' via the new Windows Store, whether they are upgraded versions of Windows or purchased," Microsoft said in a statement.

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That mechanism has still not been detailed but it will most likely allow pirates to pay for Windows 10. It follows rumors Microsoft will allow illegitimate Windows 7 and 8 copies to upgrade for free to Windows 10.

It would have been a surprising turnaround for Microsoft to embrace piracy after more than a decade of forcing customers to buy 'security keys' to get legitimate copies of Windows.

These security keys have become easy to crack, with pirates able to get the latest version of Windows in under five minutes. That still hasn't stopped 55 percent of desktop owners sticking to Windows 7, instead of upgrading to Windows 8.

Microsoft will offer the mechanism globally, meaning even in China where piracy rates are extraordinarily high customers will be forced to cough up some type of payment. Microsoft is working with Tencent and Lenovo to promote Windows 10 in the region.

Windows 10 will arrive in 190 countries this summer with more than 111 dedicated languages. It will feature a mix of the best of Windows 7 and 8 alongside new features like Cortana, universal apps and high-level security optimization.

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