PIRATES and THIEVES to get Windows 10 as BOOTY

Redmond reckons free upgrade will convert China

Pirates running stolen Windows operating systems will get a free copy of Windows 10, according to reports.

Microsoft told reporters the next Windows will be made free to whet appetites for legitimate software, particularly in China.

"We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10," Microsoft's operating systems unit boss Terry Myerson told Reuters.

The company told EuroGamer that anyone with a "qualified device can upgrade to Window 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows".

"We believe customers over time will realise the value of properly licensing Windows and we will make it easy for them to move to legitimate copies."

Windows is widely held to be widely pirated across Asia, and particularly in China. The Business Software Alliance, the industry body charged with inflating, researching piracy stats said last year (PDF) that three quarters of commercial software used in the country is stolen.

Giving away Windows 10 won't necessarily see China's many Windows XP users upgrade as the giveaway plan starts with machines running Windows 7.

Windows 10 is set to drop no later than August, Vulture South head hack Simon Sharwood reckons, in order to target Northern Hemisphere back-to-school buyers.

Win 10 upgrade patch matrix

The piracy olive branch isn't entirely generous, because Windows 10 looks like offering users many opportunities to sign for subscription services. stands to win more cash under its as-a-service model if it can convince the world to dump its old operating systems with free Windows 10 bait.

The platform sports a number of changes, including a revamped logon process dubbed Hello which offers access through face, iris and fingerprint authentication.

Punters with lousy web cams will be able to log in through the Passport web and enterprise app single-sign-on scheme.

Microsoft says Passport is locked down with asymmetric key cryptography and reckons photos will not fool biometric log ons.

El Reg reminds enterprising would-be freeloaders that pirate copies of Windows often include trojans and backdoors. ®

Keep Reading

Not one to be outdone by Microsoft, Apple's cloud fell over too. Unlike Microsoft, it hasn't said what happened

Apple TV, iCloud Mail, iWork for iCloud, App Store and more go TITSUP*

Microsoft unveils a Universal version of Office for Apple silicon

Seeking something perpetual for Windows on Arm? You can make do with a 32-bit Intel emulation

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

Deutschland, uber alle allies

Leaked benchmarks from developer kit for Apple's home-baked silicon appear to give Microsoft a run for its money

Before you get too excited 1) They're benchmarks 2) New consumer Arm-based Macs might use something else

Microsoft sides with Epic over Apple developer ban, supports motion for temporary restraining order

'Apple’s discontinuation of Epic’s ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers,' says Microsoft

Chip-for-tat escalates: Qualcomm's billion-Euro bond to block Apple iPhone sales in Germany

Some mobes off the shelves pending appeal in international patent battle drama

Swift tailored for Windows no longer folklore: Apple's programming language available for Microsoft OS

The Redmond-aligned can try the Cupertino-spawned lingo thanks to a Googler's intervention

Germany to fund development of edge CPUs as part of 'tech you can trust' plan to home-brew more kit

€400m for starters, after recent ban on 'untrustworthy' suppliers that sounded a lot like it was directed at Huawei

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020