Shortly after Windows 10 was announced, Terry Myerson – Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems – told Reuters that all Windows PCs would get the free Windows 10 upgrade when it launches later this summer. In a recent blog post, Myerson has clarified Microsoft’s plan to upgrade non-genuine, or pirated, versions of their operating system.
Users of computers running genuine versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 will be upgraded to Windows 10 for free, after which point they will receive Windows updates and security fixes for free – for the supported lifetime of the device they upgrade on. Should a non-genuine version of Windows be detected, the system can still be updated but will contain a watermark on the user’s desktop.
When we can’t verify that Windows is properly installed, licensed, and not tampered with, we create a desktop watermark to notify the user. If you ever encounter this watermark on a new machine, I encourage you to return the device immediately to the retailer from whom you purchased it and request a Genuine Windows device. Non-Genuine Windows has a high risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions. Non-Genuine Windows is not supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner.
There are any reasons why a version of Windows may be detected as non-genuine, including outright piracy, but Microsoft states that some people are unwitting victims of pirated software, whether it be an improper installation from an OEM to someone using your key to install Windows on their machine. While the free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 won’t apply to machines running non-genuine versions of Windows 7 or 8.1, the update can still be applied and users will be prompted to purchase a “very attractive Windows 10 upgrade” for their machines.Source: Microsoft