Microsoft offers pirates free Win10 upgrades

— 10:33 AM on March 18, 2015

In January, Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for machines running Win7 or newer versions of the OS. And you may not even need a legitimate copy of the OS. Windows boss Terry Myerson told Reuters that "all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine," will be eligible for the Win10 freebie.

Microsoft's plan to offer pirates Win10 upgrades was announced during the WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China. According to Myerson, the deal stems from Microsoft's desire to "re-engage" with users in that country, where piracy is rampant. He didn't clarify whether illegitimate Windows machines in other regions would be eligible, but there's nothing in the Reuters story to suggest otherwise.

At this point, it looks like Microsoft is ready to offer just about everyone a free copy of Windows 10. Establishing a strong foothold for the OS in China seems to be the primary motivator behind bringing in the Yarrr crowd, but I can't help but wonder if this is also part of a push to grow the number of potential customers for the Windows Store. Hmmm.

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