That’s one way to tackle piracy. Microsoft has announced free upgrades from Windows 7 and 8 to Windows 10 extends to those who pirated the operating system.
“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s operating systems division, told Reuters in an interview.
Does this apply to all illegal copies, including those outside of China? Microsoft told ZDNet it does.
Why the soft stance on Chinese pirates? In 2011, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said 90% of Chinese Windows users were using illegal software.
At this point, it probably is just easier to upgrade everyone. Myerson also told Reuters the goal is to ‘re-engage’ with millions of Chinese users. Myerson didn’t go into further details. At the very least, hundreds of millions of official Chinese users will look good come earnings time.
Windows 10 Coming This Summer
Microsoft has also announced a release date for Windows 10. It will launch in 190 countries and 111 languages “this summer.”
Myerson wrote in a blog post, “We continue to make great development progress and shared today that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Windows has always been global with more than 1.5 billion users around the world and here in China hundreds of millions of PCs operate Windows today. That’s why it was particularly fun to show our latest global innovation, Windows Hello, on stage for the first time, and to feature a number of Windows 10 customizations for the China market, such as Cortana in Mandarin.”
That “great development progress” needs to continue. Committing to a summer release date seems a bit fast since the current preview build is still missing several big Windows 10 features.
Microsoft also announced a new feature yesterday called Windows Hello. It gives you instant access to Windows 10 devices via biometric authentication. Check out the video below to see it in action.