Windows has almost always had a huge piracy problem as millions of people around the world choose not to pay Microsoft for its software and instead go with a pirated copy. It goes without saying that Microsoft expects people to do the same when Windows 10 arrives, though the company makes it clear that systems with pirated Windows 10 installations will have a permanent watermark on the desktop reminding them that their software is not genuine and that they have committed piracy.
This announcement comes today by Microsoft EVP of OS Terry Myerson, he meant to clean up confusion regarding his previous statements which some media outlets construed as a bold step on Microsoft’s part to allow people with pirated Windows copies to take part in the free Windows 10 upgrade.
What Myerson meant was that Microsoft would make people with non-genuine installations go through Windows Store if they wanted to upgrade to Windows 10 and this suggests that the company is going to make them pay.
Myerson does mention that Microsoft will team up with its partners to offer “very attractive” genuine upgrade options for those users.
Even though Microsoft hasn’t confirmed just how it’ll go about converting pirates into legitimate users, presumably it will offer them upgrades to a genuine installation of Windows 10 for a lower price to entice them to put money down for the software.
Otherwise users with pirated copies will have to bear with the desktop watermark, and they may not even receive essentially security updates for Windows 10.