Skip to main content

Microsoft to offer an ‘attractive’ Windows 10 upgrade to ‘non-genuine’ users

windows 10, microsoft, computing
Microsoft PR
As the old piracy motto goes, why buy it if you can get it for free? While the potential for jail time is one big reason, that isn’t always enough to make pirates think twice. Now, Microsoft hopes to win over some of these individuals in time for the release of Windows 10 this summer, according to

In an update posted to the Windows blog on May 15, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson wrote that the company will be releasing a “very attractive” Windows 10 upgrade offer to those running older devices in a “non-genuine” state. However, Myerson specified that a free upgrade will not be available on non-genuine Windows devices. He would not provide any more specifics at this point in time.

Non-genuine (or pirated) versions of Windows have a high risk of malware, fraud and exposure of private information, and Myerson reminded readers that Microsoft does not support pirated versions of the operating system.

“When we can’t verify that Windows is properly installed, licensed, and not tampered with, we create a desktop watermark to notify the user,” Myerson wrote. “If you ever encounter this watermark on a new machine, I encourage you to return the device immediately to the retailer from whom you purchased it and request a genuine Windows device.”

On the official Microsoft website, the company encourages its customers to return any pirated software they may have accidentally purchased unlawfully and ask for a refund. In the event that a vendor won’t refund you, Microsoft suggests reporting the individual to the Consumer Affairs Office and the Better Business Bureau.

A survey of 15,000 people from 33 countries around the world found that 57 percent of computer users pirate software, according to The Huffington Post. About 5 percent of computer users say they’ve “always” pirated their software, highlighting the severity of the problem. Time will tell how many of these users Microsoft will be able to coax into compliance.

Editors' Recommendations

Krystle Vermes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Krystle Vermes is a professional writer, blogger and podcaster with a background in both online and print journalism. Her…
Windows 10 users can now directly stream Xbox games to their PC
Xbox Windows 10 Remote Play

A new update came out today for Windows 10 PCs that allows direct streaming of console games from the Xbox App. Ultimate Game Pass subscribers can now stream their console games directly onto their PCs and will not require a download.

While this seems like a simple update that probably should have come sooner than now, it's a significant update for PC owners. Since players will be able to stream games, those who do not own the fastest and beefiest computers can still play high-spec games.

Read more
Why Windows 11 is more than just a Windows 10 reskin
Windows 11 on a tablet.

Windows 11 is, for the most part, a visual update to Windows 10. It's the same operating system under the hood, just with new features and an updated look. Despite being built on the same OS, Microsoft has said that Windows 11 will feature various optimizations, and now, we know what those optimizations are.

Windows 11: The Optimization and Performance Improvements

Read more
I downgraded from Windows 11 to Windows 10, and I don’t plan on going back
Android Apps on Windows 11

Microsoft just announced that Windows 11 is around the corner. The rollout is set to begin on October 5, with eligible PCs receiving a notification to upgrade in waves. I've used Windows 11 throughout most of the Insider period, and after downgrading, I plan on sticking with Windows 10 for a while.

Windows 11 has caused some controversy, from the confusing TPM requirement, which left DIY builders in the cold, to the busted PC Health Check app, which made it difficult to see whether your PC could even run Windows 11. Although the direction forward seems clear now, I'm still holding my breath, waiting for Microsoft to iron out the issues with and requirements of Windows 11.

Read more