Microsoft made waves in January when it announced that Windows 10, the next version of its desktop operating system, would be released as a free upgrade to anyone running Windows 7 or 8. But anyone with "non-genuine" installations of Windows, which is a nice way of saying pirated copies, will not receive that privilege.
"Non-Genuine Windows is not supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of operating systems, explained in a blog post on Friday. He also mentioned that non-genuine Windows 10 installs will get a nice watermark on the desktop to warn you of the situation.
However, not everyone using pirated Windows software is a pirate themselves. They could easily have gotten a computer from an unlicensed dealer, or bought a used laptop on Craigslist, or otherwise been prevented from getting a "Genuine" copy. For them, there is hope, Myerson writes: "We are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state." So if you're harboring an illicit or somehow illegitimate copy of Windows, you'll at least be able to upgrade safely.
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