back to article Microsoft: Free Windows 10 for THIEVES and PIRATES? They can GET STUFFED

Think you'll be getting a free upgrade to Windows 10 from your pirated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1? Not so fast. For months, rumors have been swirling that suggested Microsoft was so eager to get its entire customer base onto Windows 10 that it will extend its free upgrade offer even to those who obtained their copies of …

I'm glad they cleared that up!

One thing he seemed to say is that perhaps if you have one genuine license but another machine without one you may get a break on the cost?

There does come a point where enough is enough with upgrade costs, especially when the benefits are sometimes tenuous or fabricated. The free upgrade from 7&8 to 10 is most welcome, especially if 10 is as good as 7.

If it could be done in a manner to reduce potential abuse a household license \ family pack (they did this with office iirc) might get them more converts. Get Windows and Office for the whole household for a sane fee.

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Anonymous Coward

>If we had to speculate, we'd hazard that this is all about trying to expand the paying Windows user base in developing markets like China, India, Brazil, and other regions where you're more likely to be running an unlicensed copy of the OS than a legitimate one.

Dirty, dirty BRICs

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Just because you think your comment "dirty dirty BRICS' should appear above everyone else's, doesn't mean you should just reply to the highest appearing post with a complete non-sequitur..

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re: reply to the highest appearing post with a complete non-sequitur..

Erm - Mister AC wasn't being random - Brazil, India, China

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Re: re: reply to the highest appearing post with a complete non-sequitur..

"Non-sequitur" does not mean "random," it means "unrelated to what came before."

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Re: re: reply to the highest appearing post with a complete non-sequitur..

BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The post the AC was quoting mentioned three of those five. It's not a non sequitur.

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Re: re: reply to the highest appearing post with a complete non-sequitur..

"BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The post the AC was quoting mentioned three of those five. It's not a non sequitur."

The "post" AC was quoting was the article itself and was not mentioned at all in the post being replied to.

H4rm0ny was correct.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

Reading a similar article on ZDNet was baffling. Companies that have to budget these things ahead of time are left to throw lamb entrails on the sand in order to divine WTF the next load of crapware from MS is going to cost them.

Running an MS shop must be a full-time job for not only the sysadmin but also the accountant.

As near as can be told, your licensing situation is the sum of the following components:

Your company name

Your company bank account balance

Number of cores on the licensed machine

Machine geographic location

Current stock price of MSFT

Current weather in Redmond

The above components are hashed, salted, sprinkled with pig blood and eye-of-newt, in order to produce the licensing cost in a basket of currencies including the Yuan, Euro, Drachma and Shekel, indexed to US GDP and inversely proportional to your ability to pay.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

indeed I have worked for a compnay who had an employee who's full time remit was "undestanding microsoft licencing"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

Meh!

I worked for a company that spent months communicating to and fro with a 'Microsoft Licence Auditor' because they couldn't tally our fully managed, automated licence audit counts with their sales records.

The concept of 'downgrade rights' seemed to have escaped them completely and we had to run through what we'd done several times before they 'got it' and confirmed we were properly licenced.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

Running an MS shop must be a full-time job for not only the sysadmin but also the accountant.

It also involves the company's risk manager, because it only takes one malicious idiot to file an anonymous report with FAST and friends to have them seek an audit. I am still not entirely clear how they have that power (would welcome an explanation), but it does seem to be one of the things management worry about enough to accept the costs for license management overhead.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

The above components are hashed, salted, sprinkled with pig blood and eye-of-newt, in order to produce the licensing cost in a basket of currencies including the Yuan, Euro, Drachma and Shekel, indexed to US GDP and inversely proportional to your ability to pay.

I'm glad you found a short version. Can we hire you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

I had that knock at the door from MS, not sure what prompted it as we stay the right side of licenses and CALS together with a strong preference for Linux where possible.

One thing I found while dragging out the license details over my lost weekend was typing 25 character keys is a nightmare. From now on I'm going to photograph the things, telling a B from an 8 is a pain after the sticker has been even slightly scratched with a heel or someone borrows their X disk to "add a feature" and forgets to return it in time or damages the key etc. I was taking a fairly relaxed attitude to the installs as "everything has a COA and it's all kept in file cabinets in a locked low fire risk room" but that means nothing when faced with an audit.

I got data backups but wasn't thinking too heavily about installed software keys multi electronic backups or copy-pasting them to a Redmond spreadsheet. Remember in licensing you are guilty until proven pennyless.

If I could I'd walk away from MS I would tomorrow, simply due to the licensing fog, I'm a compliant law abiding citizen but I know with MS I cannot be safely within the rules as the rules are made up on the fly, pointlessly stressful.

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Re: Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

in licensing you are guilty until proven pennyless.

Now THAT is my personal favourite quite of the week. I salute you.

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Re: Microsoft licensing - a Mystery wrapped in an Enigma

...and if you can find it cheaper elsewhere [Linux/iOS/chrome] they will miraculously offer a massive discount.

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7 to 8 ...

My kids had OEM W7, they bought the upgrade-only media for W8, and updated without a problem. Sometime later, the disk failed. I chanced my arm and tried to reinstall W8 on the replacement HDD using the media, even though it said it could only be used for upgrades. The install proceeded and initially appeared successful, but resulted in a non-activated (and non-activatable) copy of Windows 8 with a message explaining this was because I had used an upgrade, not a full licence. However, it turned out this copy of Windows could be "upgraded" (to itself!) with the same W8 upgrade media, and then it became active!

I wonder if they might make the same mistake with the upgrade to W10?

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Childcatcher

Re: 7 to 8 ...

I wonder if they might make the same mistake with the upgrade to W10?

No, hopefully your kids have learned their lesson and will stay clear of Windows.

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Re: 7 to 8 ...

"No, hopefully your kids have learned their lesson and will stay clear of Windows."

:-) Dual boot; Windows used only for Windows-only games. Hopefully won't be necessary for too much longer ...

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Re: 7 to 8 ...

I vaguely remember a similar situation with Vista and its upgrade from XP.

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Trollface

Re: 7 to 8 ...

I vaguely remember a similar situation with Vista and its upgrade TO XP.

T, FTFY

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Re: 7 to 8 ...

Or you could just set the MediaBootInstall flag to 0 in the registry and then enter your code again.

Not that I condone this. I use OS X. ☺

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Will pirates bother "warm" upgrading to Windows 10 anyway?

I always have a policy of cold installs of OS'es (after backing up what I want to keep) instead of "warm" upgrades regardless of whether it's a server, desktop or laptop. That way, you start from a fresh slate and restore back only what you need onto the clean new OS, leaving behind unwanted crud from the older OS.

So surely if pirates have Windows (of any version, even XP) and want to go to Windows 10, wouldn't they just backup stuff they want to keep, cold install a pirated copy of Windows 10 and restore their backed up data? This would make the whole pirate upgrade issue in this article somewhat moot...

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Re: Will pirates bother "warm" upgrading to Windows 10 anyway?

I'm curious to if you downloaded via BitTorrent, then used a KeyGen to activate... doesn't said activation make your installed OS think it's "genuine"? Therefore, wouldn't Win-10 upgrade as genuine?

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Re: Will pirates bother "warm" upgrading to Windows 10 anyway?

same thing happened with win 8 - they wouldn't touch it.... THEN months later, demand grew, so they HAD to 'get to work'.... :/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Will pirates bother "warm" upgrading to Windows 10 anyway?

No, because the first thing the dodgy version of windows will do is contact the activation servers to check its validity if it can get online and if thats not done in a certain timescale, the os will declare itself invalid anyway and steal your wallpaper etc. There does still have to be a offline only install mode, as there are machines out there which will never be able to be on anything but a airgapped network, and they represent a large customer base for microsoft servers which are the same.

Anon, because I can never be arsed getting my official key out the bios where its stored nowadays after reinstall/dual bootery/ssd drive initial prepwork, and find it easier to just run a keygen on a airgapped install inside a virtual machine and not let the damn thing on the network. Safest way to use windows full stop and even if what I load is compromised, it cant dial home to the c&c server anyway. I hardly use windows nowadays anyway, its just there for supporting legacy crap. And because technically it was free as the windows version of my pc's is STILL cheaper than the no os version. Piracy makes things easier, it doesnt in our case mean we havent paid for the privilege of running the software.

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Please offer an ISO + Vista upgrades

I imagine they are offering upgrades to people who originally used a licensed copy of Windows, but when it slowed down with crudware or just broke they didn't have the media for a clean install so used illegitimate install media instead.

Here's hoping they release a downloadable ISO that can either upgrade or do a clean install for any PC capable of running Win 10 that has a valid product key (including OEM back to Vista). Since Vista has the same driver model and higher hardware requirements than 7 that ought to be do-able. They should also allow upgrades of all capable machines to 64-bit, even if they previously had 32-bit Windows (some did). However most XP era hardware is probably too slow and wont have supported drivers for Win 10.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please offer an ISO + Vista upgrades

However most XP era hardware is probably too slow and wont have supported drivers for Win 10.

And there you hit the nail on the head - what hardware is needed for this upgrade to allow it to function?

I have friends with several computers that came with win 7 installed that work if you don't want to do anything that might stress the CPU/memory or even require much disk writing. If you do something like saving a 20 page document you can go and make the coffee and it will still be saving when you get back.

I 'upgraded' three of them to XP and they hum along without any problems. I shudder to think how that sort of hardware will run win 10.

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Re: However most XP era hardware is probably too slow

Certainly not ALL old kit. The preview is running fine on a 2003 Dell PowerEdge.

I tried a couple of newer (2007?) laptops, and it was very clunky, but adding classic shell sorted that.

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Re: Please offer an ISO + Vista upgrades

"I have friends with several computers that came with win 7 installed that work if you don't want to do anything that might stress the CPU/memory or even require much disk writing. If you do something like saving a 20 page document you can go and make the coffee and it will still be saving when you get back."

Crap computers are the fault of manufacturers who make them and the consumers who create the demand for them. Like any other software developer Microsoft publish minimum specifications - and from what you've said it sounds like it ran the OS? So Microsoft's minimum specifications are correct then, yes? Word, Acrobat or whatever is being used to open the document is not part of the OS and has it's own set of requirements.

If I went and got the old Pentium 4 out of the garage and complained that a modern Linux distro like Ubuntu 15.04 ran like a one legged dog would that be Canonical's fault just because it meets their minimum specs? Of course not - it's an old piece of junk! And if I got the poverty spec Core Solo Mac Mini out and ran a newer version of OS X on it and complain that it is slow...oh, wait, they dropped support for x86 so you can't.

The experience you described sounds more like a "Vista-ready" PC, and those normally run better when updated to Windows 7. Further to that I find Windows 8 is just as fast, if not faster, than Windows 7. The Mrs has a refurbished Fujitsu laptop (nothing fancy, I think it's a Core 2 Duo era Mobile Pentium with 2GB RAM) that came with Vista (albeit already downgraded to XP). Aside from the odd bit of graphical slowdown caused by the Start screen on some incredibly old low power integrated graphics chip it runs Windows 8 like a gem.

If your friends computers ran 7 badly then I dread to think what your friends actually bought or what crapware was running on them. I also hope your friends are technically literate enough to understand the implications of running XP. If you just put it on there without explaining the potential issues to them just on the basis that it's faster then shame on you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please offer an ISO + Vista upgrades

In my experience, "just as fast" is somewhat overstating what happens to a machine with Windows. "Not slower as" is IMHO more accurate.

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Re: Please offer an ISO + Vista upgrades

It's most likely my fault that I usually have slow boot times and adequate - but somewhat lacklustre - performance from Linux. Perhaps that goes for yourself and Windows? I've never seen a "full-fat" OS boot up as fast as Windows 8/8.1, be ready to use as quickly as 8/8.1 once booted (a big improvement over any previous Windows OS) or respond as snappily as 8/8.1. Yes, it's a high spec machine, yes it has SSDs. And running ntively on the same machine Windows 8 batters a few Linux distros that I've used on the same machine.

Admittedly I am not using a custom built version of Slackware or similar selectively built to my exact requirements, but over the years on a decent PCs for their time I've always found the likes of SuSE, Fedora, Madriva, Ubuntu (Xubuntu, Mint etc) and Debian to be quite slow relative to XP, 7 and 8 (and patched Vista). As I say that's probably my fault for not being hugely familiar with Linux.

Even in an environment like this where most people are IT professionals or enthusiasts, I really do wonder how many people have their experiences tarnished by low spec 'Vista ready' machines (again, down to the manufacturer and consumer more than Microsoft) or obsolete, under-powered company machines dying under the weight of badly configured domain policies? Sadly I have to put up with the latter at work and if I judged Windows on that machine alone I probably wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

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Still parsing the explanation.

I'm not sure what is worse: Marketing Speak, Lawyer Speak, or VP Speak as far as mudding the item under discussion... This I can figure out... Marketing is Hype, Lawyer is Lies, VP is Befuddlement.

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Re: Still parsing the explanation.

I'm not sure what is worse: Marketing Speak, Lawyer Speak, or VP Speak as far as mudding the item under discussion...

I know Windows is a perfectly good operating system (at least for some) but my lack of fluency in all of the above languages puts it way out of my league.

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Re: Still parsing the explanation.

well my translation...

If you are a BIG company that has 'been tempted by the dark side' , we can give you an 'amnesty' for a decent affordable package...

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Holmes

"Non-Genuine Windows...

"...has a high risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions," Myserson said.

"The normal risks of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, poor performance and feature malfunctions should be enough of anyone" he (should have) added!

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Anonymous Coward

When upgrading hardware on a full retail W7 I have often ended up with the message "illegal copy of Windows". It seems to happen if you make several hardware changes in quick succession - the final one being cloning to a new disk. Putting that disk on the shelf for 3 months fixes the problem - as if there is a mandatory time-out between successive changes.

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It also happens if you leave it offline long enough.

One machine I have was bought to be used offline - after a while it declares itself illegal until I get around to re-registering it.

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Anonymous Coward

All copies of Windows should be made illegal, for our own sake.

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Anonymous Coward

And all

pointless anti MS rhetoric from anonymous cowards should be expunged.

Shame you cant have everything you want in life. Innit....

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Anonymous Coward

Free Windows 10 to replace my 7 ?

Pay me, Microsoft, and see if it works.

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Worse case scenario...

Those who upgraded for free from 7 or 8 will be a dying species, owning their OS outright. Everyone else (pirates, new owners, people who want to upgrade from Home to Pro/Business/Enterprise/Ultimate) will be herded towards a subscription model.

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Re: Worse case scenario...

I wondered whether people were still pushing the "subscription" FUD.

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

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Re: Worse case scenario...

Only none of what I've said actually conflicts with MS' statements on the matter, either this one or the last. In fact there are more conflicts between their two statements than there are between my post and those two statements taken in turn. They're not being at all clear on their pricing structure and it shouldn't be this difficult to clarify it, at least for consumer versions of Windows.

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Re: Worse case scenario...

"will be herded towards a subscription model."

For a moment I read that as "a suspicion model"

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Re: Worse case scenario...

No, the suspicion model was WGA...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Worse case scenario...

I wondered whether people were still pushing the "subscription" FUD.

Oh no, Windows won't be on a subscription (it will be almost free). It's the on-line services that Windows will be tied up with that's subscription based.

That's why they're not too fussed about pirated copies - eventually the OS would be almost useless without an account as each continuous (stealth) update gradually guides the rod in deeper.

"mobile-first, cloud-first" is what this OS will be.

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Re: Worse case scenario...

My read as to where they hope to go. All the joys of Software Assurance but now pointed at the consumer. I'm interested in Server; nothing whatsoever appealing about W10 on the desktop, and I've yet to see anything to make me give up W8.1 on the tablet. [I don't do phones, full-time, period.] Microsoft can thank their lucky stars that I'm a serious outlier.

I rather think this strategy will work out rather well for them. Google, Apple, and enterprises (nearly) everywhere having done the spade work.

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Devil

Desperation

They sound very desperate to have people on Win 10..

1) Maybe it's not something people would buy, given a choice

2) Last version ever of a discrete windows, becomes like Mozilla Firefox updates ... except I expect at some stage you have to subscribe to MS Cloud or it stops working.

The drug dealer is giving the latest designer drug free to all his customers.

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Re: Desperation

As desperate as Apple, who also offer their OS for free?

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Re: Desperation

Apple makes money back in other areas: Tax evasion, child labor and strong arming the manufacturers. So they make their money back on the hardware.

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