Tech News

Microsoft Not Rewarding Windows 10 Non-Genuine Upgrades

Microsoft Not Rewarding Windows 10 Non-Genuine Upgrades

windows 10 not upgrading for fake license 2015

Last January, Microsoft was making everyone’s day with a free yearlong upgrade for Windows 10, even people who had non-genuine copies of the OS. You knew that was too good to be true people, so they’ve revised their wording to make sure it’s more clear. Basically, if you have a non-genuine version of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, feel free to upgrade, but that won’t make your copy magically become genuine. You know how they are, and with this huge splash they’re making with Windows 10, they’re going to make sure to lose as little money as possible to pirated copies.

Microsoft has clarified a recent comment about owners of unlicensed versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 being able to upgrade to Windows 10.

At the WinHec conference in China on Tuesday, Microsoft’s operating system chief Terry Myerson told Reuters that “we are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.” The remark was aimed at China where software piracy has been a huge problem for Microsoft. But the news certainly brought smiles to the faces of anyone who runs a non-genuine copy of Windows 7 or 8.1 and suddenly thought that an upgrade toWindows 10 would bring legitimacy.

windows 10 not free for pirated copies 2015

Windows pirates may need to wipe those smiles off their faces. A spokeswoman for Microsoft clarified the upgrade process indicating that the version of Windows 10 doesn’t magically become licensed if you upgrade from an unlicensed version:

With Windows 10, although nongenuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license. Nongenuine Windows is not published by Microsoft. It is not properly licensed, or supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. If a device was considered nongenuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered nongenuine or mislicensed after the upgrade.

PC sales may be in a slump and Windows 8 demand has been lackluster, but Windows continues to be one of Microsoft’s core revenue generators, both on the consumer and corporate sides. As such, the company obviously loses a chunk of change anytime a non-licensed version of Windows is installed. Pirated versions of Windows have especially been prevalent in China where around 75 percent of PC software is not properly licensed, Reuters said, citing recent studies.

In 2011, then-CEO Steve Ballmer told employees that Microsoft’s revenue in China represented only 5 percent of sales in the US, implying that much of its software in China is pirated and unlicensed.

So what exactly happens if you run a non-genuine current version of Windows?

As Microsoft describes the situation on its Genuine Windows page, you’ll see frequent messages warning you that your copy of Windows may not be genuine. Your desktop will turn to black. You can reset it, but it will continue to turn black until you activate Windows. You can still get critical security updates, though you may not be able to get optional updates or other software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials. But otherwise, Windows and your applications will still be able to function. Of course, this information applies to the existing versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 and not necessarily to the still-developing Windows 10.

Microsoft could certain disable non-genuine versions of Windows from running altogether, at least after a certain period of time. But the company then runs the risk of losing users who may not have activated the software or who may decide to pay for it just to eliminate the annoying messages and darkened desktop.

Windows 10 is slated to roll out this summer across 190 countries and 111 languages. The software will be a free upgrade to users running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

View Comments (1)
Tech News

Jeffrey Lang has joined Movie TV Tech Geeks for 2015 and will be providing his opinion on technology from across the pond in London. Along with having many opinions on tech, gadgets, games, etc., he enjoys watching the Thames from our satellite office there.

More in Tech News

forward heathcare apple store meets doctors office 2017 images

Forward healthcare solution: Apple Store meets doctors office

Jeffrey LangJanuary 17, 2017
gaming weekly injustice 2, andromeda releases plus unchartered 4 2017 images

Gaming Weekly: ‘Injustice 2,’ ‘Andromeda’ releases plus ‘Unchartered 4’

Max SmithJanuary 15, 2017
gaming weekly assassins creed bombs and devils third closes 2017 images

Gaming Weekly: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ bombs and ‘Devil’s Third’ closes

Curt JohnsonJanuary 15, 2017
smart health sensors coming next 2017 images

Smart health sensors coming next

Jackie WarnerJanuary 14, 2017
facebook gets serious with journalism project 2017 images

Facebook gets serious with ‘Journalism Project’

Jeffrey LangJanuary 13, 2017
nintendo switch debut gets gamers excited for march 2017 images

Nintendo Switch debut gets gamers excited for March

Jeffrey LangJanuary 13, 2017
russians hack nes classic edition and more 2017 images

Russians hack NES Classic Edition and more

Marius MaronillaJanuary 11, 2017
how apple changed phones forever in just 10 years 2017 images

Apple changed phones forever in 10 years

Jeffrey LangJanuary 10, 2017
has nokia and blackberry returned from the dead 2017 images

Has Nokia and Blackberry returned from the dead?

Marius MaronillaJanuary 9, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription