Microsoft won’t offer free Windows 10 upgrades to Windows 7 and 8 users running pirated versions of the older operating systems, despite previous reports that it would.
Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s operating systems chief, writes in a new post that the “free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices.” It’s the latest clarification of the company’s policy following a report by Reuters in January that Microsoft would offer the free Windows 10 upgrade to pirates as a way of getting more people running genuine Windows versions.
However, Myerson hints at the possibility of another offer to people running pirated Windows versions.
“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,” he writes. “Please stay tuned to learn more from our partners on the specifics of their offers.
Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet says those offers are likely to involve China, based on Myerson’s previous statements about the company’s intent to “re-engage” with hundreds of millions of Windows users there.
Microsoft announced in January that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for people running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. That offer remains intact.
Windows 10 restores the desktop Start menu in a new form, does a better job of bridging tablet and desktop modes, provides deeper integration with Xbox, and offers a new browser called “Edge,” among many other new features. The new Windows version also supports new devices, ranging from Raspberry Pi to Microsoft’s HoloLens headset. Windows 10 is slated for release this summer.