Microsoft to offer free Windows 10 upgrades even for pirated Windows versions

Win10_Windows_StartScreen1_PrintIn a blockbuster announcement, Microsoft has revealed it will give free Windows 10 upgrades to all Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users regardless if they are running genuine or pirated copies of the operating system.

This strategy is important for Microsoft as they’re looking to launch Windows 10 in 190 countries this summer, including China. The software giant wants to make a big push into the Chinese market with its upcoming operating system, the only problem is – more than 70% of the Windows copies used in that country are illegal. So Microsoft figured – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

Terry Myerson, who heads Microsoft’s Operating Systems unit, made the announcement at the WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China.

“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” he said in a telephone interview with Reuters. The plan is to “re-engage” with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without elaboration.

As Microsoft is looking to switch monetization strategy for Windows 10 and increase its market share for PCs, Tablets and Smartphones running their OS, having high adoption rates in all major markets will be the key to their success.

China is a very important market for Microsoft and by giving the new OS for free to everyone, Microsoft will greatly benefit in the long run as pirated users all of a sudden become legitimate license-holders.

Source: Reuters