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Microsoft explains Windows 10 upgrade for non-genuine users

by Ryan Martin on 18 May 2015, 16:46

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Microsoft's statement last week that there will be free upgrades for qualifying Windows 7 and 8.1 users to get to Windows 10 raised a lot of questions in the Windows community. Specifically, Windows users were interested to know how this would work with respect to Genuine and Non-Genuine (pirated) copies of Windows. Was Microsoft making it possible for pirates to get a genuine copy of Windows 10 for free?

Microsoft quickly explained the situation in a recent blog post where it made it clear that it would not make the free Windows 10 upgrade available to users of non-genuine copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. However, Microsoft did state that "we are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state. Please stay tuned to learn more from our partners on the specifics of their offers." The company believes that many users of non-genuine Windows are "unwitting victims of piracy" and thus these attractive upgrade offers are a fair way of reducing piracy for these victims.

Microsoft also explained that it would identify piracy on Windows 10 in similar ways to what has been seen with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Specifically, the company will watermark the desktops of non-genuine users and will provide regular notifications to the user that they should upgrade to a genuine copy to avoid increased risks of "malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, and ... poor performance or feature malfunctions."

The exact pricing of the attractive upgrade offers for non-genuine Windows users were not disclosed by the company but they are expected to be revealed closer to the launch. Just last week Microsoft detailed all nine editions of Windows 10 for various different platforms - embedded, IoT, computers, tablets and mobiles.



HEXUS Forums :: 76 Comments

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There's a few things with this free upgrade I have been looking for answers but nothing as of yet.

I have genuine Windows 7 retail (32 & 64 bit discs in large case), if I decide to do the upgrade to 10 will it render my Windows 7 key useless so I cannot use it on another machine?

Secondly, also if I upgrade to 10, something goes wrong say 18 months after the upgrade and I need to replace installation hard drive or have to flatten system and do a fresh install, with it being after the initial 12 months will I still have access to 10 or will I then have to pay for an upgrade. Maybe if you are lucky you may be able to find your key within the registry like you can now.
What would be the fair price for non-genuine users to become genuine, your opinion ladies and gents?
Probably the same amount of money which we - genuine users will pay next year and the year after the next and each year :)…
I think it should be around 1/10 of full priced OS… IMHO -around 20-25Eur….
Hmmm.

Reading the MS blog post carefully suggests it's not quite what this article suggests. As I read it, MS appear to be referring to customers of OEM partners, which appears to draw a distinction from those with outright pirate copies. They refer to “unwitting victims”.

They also say
MS blog post
Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together. While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state. In addition, in partnership with some of our valued OEM partners, we are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state. Please stay tuned to learn more from our partners on the specifics of their offers.

That seems to suggest that those with devices from OEM partners may be able to access “offers” from those OEM partners, but implies nothing direct from MS themselves. The same post refers to users where there's difficulty verifying that the OS is genuine, which is a deligntfully vague way of putting it.

In other words, this doesn't, if we take that blog post at face value, quite seem to be an amnesty for pirate users, but sort-of sop to “unwitting victims” …. albeit at an as yet unspecified price.

Of course, it IS a blog post, so may not have quite the same degree of carefully-crafted language, as an official company statement or press release.

I'm not sure it actually takes us forward very much, if at all, in knowing what's going to happen.
Ferral
There's a few things with this free upgrade I have been looking for answers but nothing as of yet.

I have genuine Windows 7 retail (32 & 64 bit discs in large case), if I decide to do the upgrade to 10 will it render my Windows 7 key useless so I cannot use it on another machine?

Secondly, also if I upgrade to 10, something goes wrong say 18 months after the upgrade and I need to replace installation hard drive or have to flatten system and do a fresh install, with it being after the initial 12 months will I still have access to 10 or will I then have to pay for an upgrade. Maybe if you are lucky you may be able to find your key within the registry like you can now.
Obviously, I know no more than you do. But history suggests that an ‘upgrade’ licence has to upgrade from something. The ‘free’ upgrade applies to genuine users, therefore comes from a genuine licence. It's never yet been the case that you could legitimately buy an upgrade package, use it to upgrade from a legit licence, then use that original legit licence on a second machine. You could, of course, install the original licence on a second machine IF it was retail not OEM, and use the upgrade version to upgrade that second machine BUT ONLY legitimately if deleting both from the original machine.

That is, retail licences can be transferred, but have to come off the first machine, and aren't legitimate on two systems at the same time. The upgrade is valid on either, provided it's upgrading a still legit licence, but the first machine no longer has a legit licence once it's been transferred to the second machine.

I doubt that's changed.

I'm equally interested in knowing whether, for example, you upgrade a legit Win 7 or Win8 licence using the ‘free’ Win 10 upgrade, can you then change you mind and downgrade by re-installing the Win7/8 system, and not have activation/validation troubles?
H'mm are there innocent people around who don't know that they don't have a genuine copy of win7 or win8. And I can't see hardened Pirates being reformed if they have to pay for Win 10.