Microsoft has undoubtedly made huge losses in markets such as China where piracy is rampant and where it has been estimated that three-quarters of PCs are not properly licensed. However in a bid to encourage users to use the original version of Windows 10, Microsoft has made a rather unprecedented move by making Windows 10 a free upgrade.
This will apply to users who might be running pirated copies of Windows before, thus ultimately legitimizing all copies of Windows 10 in the future. In fact there might not even be a need to download a pirated copy upon its release. This was confirmed by Microsoft’s Terry Myerson who announced the company’s plans at the WinHEC technology conference in China.
According to Myerson in a phone interview with Reuters, he was quoted as saying, “We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.” Details on the upgrading process was not shared but presumably will be made clearer as we approach the operating system’s release, which based on an earlier report has it pegged for the summer without any specific dates being mentioned.
This move is similar to what Apple has done, which is by offering free upgrades to major OS X releases starting with OS X Mavericks. This also helps to deal with fragmentation where users are running multiple builds of the operating system, and would also go towards help Microsoft achieve their goal of unification.