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 …

  1. Rampant Spaniel

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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

      1. h4rm0ny

        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..

        1. DuncanL

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            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."

            1. Morrolan

              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.

              1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          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.

    4. gcla72

      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.

  3. John H Woods Silver badge

    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        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 ...

    2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Re: 7 to 8 ...

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

      1. earl grey Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: 7 to 8 ...

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

        T, FTFY

    3. qualeboy

      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. ☺

  4. Richard Lloyd

    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...

    1. Purple-Stater

      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?

      1. illiad

        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'.... :/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  5. YARR

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Archaon

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Archaon

            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.

    2. Jess

      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.

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    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.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      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.

    2. illiad

      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...

  7. Graham Marsden
    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!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And all

      pointless anti MS rhetoric from anonymous cowards should be expunged.

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

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free Windows 10 to replace my 7 ?

    Pay me, Microsoft, and see if it works.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    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.

    1. dogged

      Re: Worse case scenario...

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

      Thanks for clearing that up for me.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          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.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Worse case scenario...

      "will be herded towards a subscription model."

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

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Worse case scenario...

        No, the suspicion model was WGA...

  12. Mage Silver badge
    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.

    1. dogged

      Re: Desperation

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

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        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.

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: Desperation

      Have you used the preview of Windows 10? Just because something doesn't cost money doesn't mean it is free. Windows 10 loves to spy on you, even more than Windows 8.1.

      (1) Microsoft still makes it difficult to create a local account only to log in. This nasty started in Windows 8.1. Microsoft shouldn't know when and where I log in.

      (2) The default settings are ful of tracking. Use Bing universal search, "Let advertisers use my ID", and so on. You have to give away your privacy for Cortana to work.

      (3) The Windows 10 search bar as of right now searches with Bing first then your programs, files, and settings. It shouldn't search Bing at all. But there is no upfront way to prevent it from searching with Bing. If I wanted to search the web, I would open a web browser.

      1. dogged

        Re: Desperation

        What part of "preview" is too hard for you? OF COURSE it's instrumented.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Desperation

          What part of "preview" is too hard for you? OF COURSE it's instrumented.

          Those "features" aren't in Windows 10 because it's a preview... it's the same with Windows 8.

        2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Desperation

          Agreed on the preview instrumentation, but it will require remaining so after RCMP to function properly. One need only examine the new moving pieces, and quite a bit of the old due to interdependencies, to figure out what will work right and a lot that won't.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Desperation

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

      Perhaps they know something we don't. In the last month, I've installed Win7 onto a couple of clean boxes and asked Windows Update to apply the last however-many years worth of patches. In one case it took well over 24 hours to do that and in the other case it blue-screened part way through (recovering sufficiently to complete the process). MS might be wondering just how many problems of this type they may face between now and 2020.

      The Win7 kernel does not support SHA-256 for driver signing and no patch for that is promised, despite a very clear plan to phase out SHA-1 starting next year. MS might be wondering about that too.

      If, on the other hand, they offer Win10 as a "service pack" then they can do what they've already done for Win8. (Win8.0 drops out of support, completely, next year simply because 8.1 exists.) In other words, the cost of giving away 10 for free can be offset against the cost of not having to support 7, 8 or 8.1 from January 2016 onwards.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    windows 10 the crappy stick

    Sounds to me thst windows is just bad karma.....Microsoft proudly announces bundling of candy crush saga...

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/05/humanity-weeps-as-candy-crush-saga-comes-pre-installed-with-windows-10/

    Same day, Candy crush maker's share price goes into freefall

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32747504

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's my checksum?

    Do you think maybe, possibly, please, finally, Microsoft could list an sha/md5 checksum of the "genuine" iso downloads available on their VLSC?

    No, of course not.

    Remember don't download dodgy "non-genuine" Windows discs, they could be buggered! Rely only on the official Windows iso, the integrity of which can in no way be verified!

  15. cheawick

    Window 10 to be offered as a SERVICE!

    I believe this is why M$ is offering free Windows 10 upgrades... this way they can get in everyones' wallet nickers...

    http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/11/with-windows-10-the-os-becomes-a-service-instead-of-a-series-of-major-releases/#.ye92jy:VBi7

  16. cheawick

    Windows 10 to be offered as a SERVICE

    (Note: I hope this is not a double post from me, having power issues due to a thunder storm.)

    I ran across this article: http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/11/with-windows-10-the-os-becomes-a-service-instead-of-a-series-of-major-releases/#.ye92jy:VBi7

    This leads me to believe that MS may be trying an older Apple technique pre Lion OS X, speculation only but compelling.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Where's my checksum?

      Come now, what a silly suggestion!

      If MS were to offer a correct list of file sizes and SAH256 checksums for all genuine files where would you get that joy of AV software borking your machine by misidentifying MS's own software?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Where's my checksum?

        Relax, Paul. MS already do provide digital signatures for Windows files (all driver packages and kernel files have an associated catalogue which is signed, so this even covers plain text files or graphical resources) and the AV software just ignores them.

        1. Tomato42 Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: Where's my checksum?

          if you have iso md5 or sha1 sums, you can record them on read only media and then use a known good OS (this 5 year old Linux live CD will do fine) to verify it on an airgapped PC

          similarly with the files, just switch the read only media to a disk with installed system behind a read-only adapter

          Linux, 'cause this features come standard there

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: windows 10 the crappy stick

      @AC

      WTF !

      I missed that snippet of news; old memories of the Wild Tangent games/sypware infestation.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 10 to be offered as a SERVICE

      When you upgrade, you also consume your windows 7 licence permanently, with no way back. Future licence activations from 7 will fail (just like Microsoft have with this decision).

      The free upgrade is a grand scam to get good press early on and get people onto a non reversible subscription model

  17. King Jack
    FAIL

    MS M.o.

    This is the new MS M.o. They say one thing, let it stew then come out with something different. In the real world we call it lying. When the Xbone was coming we were told that you had to sell your soul to make it work. etc. All this was back-tracked as people didn't go with it. This is just more of the same 'marketing'. You tell the world you are giving them an amnesty and Win 10 will be free. Let is stew, then tell the truth and expect people to still trust you.

    I'll just wait for a cracked copy if I can be arsed to try out Win 10. I gave vista a miss and win 8 / metro. When the lies stop and the truth is know, i'll make a decision. but I will never use a rented OS.

  18. Arctic fox
    Windows

    I feel that a little textual analysis might be helpful here.

    "In addition, in partnership with some of our valued OEM partners, [sic] we are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state," Myerson added. "Please stay tuned to learn more from our partners on the specifics of their offers."

    "Some of our OEMs have been naughty little tykes and we have chosen in the past not to hang them out in public. They owe us some very big favours"

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: I feel that a little textual analysis might be helpful here.

      How the Hell do you use Windows in a "Non-Genuine" State, with its black screens, Pop-ups and uts utter refusal to actually work?

      1. captain veg

        Re: How the Hell do you use Windows in a "Non-Genuine" State

        I'm doing so since a perfectly legit upgrade on my netbook freaked out after I disabled some superfluous services, trying to reduce its footprint. I don't care about the black screen, and I'm becoming used to dismissing the stupid (and libellous) pop-ups, but if someone has any tips on ending this malarkey (*without* installing the WGA malware), I'm all ears.

        -A.

      2. illiad

        Re: I feel that a little textual analysis might be helpful here.

        very easy, if you only use it to do very little web browsing... a friend has only 5k of his BB working, but he does not notice!! ( I had to use my cell to d/l a fix for his PC..) he says he is just too busy to bother, he just re-installs and changes the background to something else!!

  19. Michael Habel Silver badge

    So lets assume

    That I manged to dump my PC BIOS, the used a hex editor to flip a few bits 'round on it to enable the correct SLI from Windows XP to Windows Vista & 7, as you do, then just added the correct OEM Cirt's again as you do to any 'ol Windows *.iso File... Which you can get directly from them, and manage to install it, as you do with it already pre-activatred. Again as you do...

    It's clearly NOT an OEM License anymore but, do they know that? This was One of the things they tried to put a stop to with Windows 8, and the new UFEI System. No doubt they'll figure out on how to improve on that... But, how do they plain on locking out these users?

  20. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    End users and promoters

    MS might be trying to say that end users will be allowed a free upgrade but resellers, promoters, and wide boys in general will have to pay.

    Or they might not.

  21. gilf

    Managing and controlling license updates is a pain, both for the user and provider.

    Using old media, old installation or serial will come back to bite them both.

    There are probably several scenarios where turning a blind eye will be more cost effective then trying to enforce licensing, especially when it comes to frustrated paying customers.

  22. Defiant

    Clean Install?

    Does anyone know whether we'll be able to do a clean install of Windows 10 with out genuine Windows 8 keys?

  23. aks Bronze badge

    Which Windows 10?

    As we now know that there are to be a variety of Windows 10 versions, even one that will run on the Raspberry Pi and IoT devices.

    Microsoft would dearly love the whole world to drop all older versions. This would make their life so much easier. All of their other software could focus on one base operating system.

    The problem of upgrading or replacing Vista or XP with a "free" version of Windows 10 is not because of the loss of any money, as the owners of such hardware will only spend money when buying replacement kit. The problem is a lack of certified drivers for older hardware.

    As for pirate copies of Windows, Microsoft have offered special cut-down versions of Windows in Asia for very low prices.

    There's a balancing act between Microsoft's ideal world where everybody uses Windows 10 as the kernel operating system and the effort and costs involved in the support required for such a legal user-base.

    All of that said, I can imagine a dirt-cheap to free version of Windows 10 where the cost is no longer an issue.

  24. Fuck123
    FAIL

    LOL this doesn't mean anything.

    Lol Windows 10 is going to be torrented and cracked so hard xD I mean, come on. It's inevitable no matter what. Everything can be hackable with a matter of effort. Just depends who's on the other end to fix it fast enough.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free better than none

    The only thing worse than people using a pirated copy of Windows, is people not using Windows at all. Best have people on the inside pissing out, than on the outside pissing in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free better than none

      Windows 10 is like a stream of bat's piss!

  26. Chris G Silver badge

    One simple fact

    If Win 10 as a service means what everybody thinks it does: a rental, I and a few million other people will be gone.

    I will be having a play with some alternatives in the next few weeks so I may go anyway.

    The constant "You must upgrade to the latest 'Washes whiter than white more than ever before'" soap powder style of marketing that Microshaft uses has become a little more than annoying.

  27. Russle

    Windows Skynet

    Whomever installs this, will be swatted; eventually.

    The passing of laws like the NDAA, military has the FULL ability to massively round up millions of American citizens using Windows 10 as the intelligence tool and torture them indefinitely without ever being charged with a crime. During WW2, the government threw hundreds of thousands of US citizens into camps in the desert.

  28. DropBear Silver badge
    WTF?

    "...offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices [...] we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state"

    Is a "Non-Genuine Windows device" a different thing than a "device in a Non-Genuine state", or does that sentence make exactly zero sense? Do you, or do you not? WTF?!?

    1. dbtx Bronze badge
      Trollface

      "Do you, or do you not?"

      Yes.

  29. John Savard Silver badge

    Parsing

    Sounds like if you own a computer that came with a legitimate copy of Windows, but it got wiped or something, then you could get a copy of Windows 10 - that's what that sentence about OEM partners and devices in a non-genuine state appeared to mean to me.

  30. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    My guess?

    My guess? People that buy second-hand computers at pawn shops, etc., that just have Windows on them from wherever, have this tendency to go non-genuine -- they don't usually do a reinstall AFAIK, just try to clean the system up into appearing to be a more or less fresh install state. You know, the only legal way (per the license, unless you have some enterprise agreement) of reinstalling Windows is from the ORIGINAL MEDIA, not like "Oh, I have this OEM disk that works on all Dells", not a slipstream. Stupid but true, and makes me glad I don't deal with Windows installs. In some cases, I'd guess the machine has a 7 license but the improper install media was used; in some cases, since NOBODY wants Vista it probably got a pirated copy of 7 installed over Vista; in other cases, probably it is valid but Microsoft falsely says it isn't (look online, this happens plenty!)

    So, Dell, HP, etc. will make some deal where Microsoft will offer you Windows 10 for like 10% off or whatever.

  31. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    here's my understanding of Win 10 licensing

    to borrow the phrase..

    "It wouldn't be inaccurate to assume that I couldn't exactly not say that it is or isn't almost partially incorrect."

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waiting for the genuine pirated version

    Sitting on my shelf are two copies of Windows 7 Pro, nicely boxed with holographic stickers and their respective activation keys. I could have used them to install Windows 8.1 on my laptop and desktop pc's, it would involve;

    Installing Windows 7 from the DVD's,

    Doing all the updates needed to install Windows 8

    Installing Windows 8 Pro via windows update

    Doing all the updates needed to get Windows 8.1

    Installing Windows 8.1 via the store

    Doing all the updates to get current.

    Or I might have just got the latest pirated version of windows 8.1 with pretty much the latest updates and automatic activation and topped up the updates.

    For those of us who like to start afresh: Why do MS make us jump through pointless and time wasting hoops (im guessing 10GB of downloads to get from Windows 7 to 8.1) when with just a little effort from MS, they could allow us to install from the current version of the OS, enter our Windows 7 activation keys and be done.

    It may be that using pirated software is cheaper than buying it but it cant be right that using pirated software is easier than buying it.

    1. illiad

      Re: Waiting for the genuine pirated version

      amazon have full version of win 8.1 for sale... the rest is up to you...

      BUY win 81, have no problems with support or other stuff...

      save your money, but loose a lot of hair/ time/ download aggro/ ...

      do the pirate, and have other hassles, (is it me that is wrong, or has the pirate 'broken' a part that I need to use???)

      a mate has tried that, 32 bit laptop OK, 64 bit desktop never that stable... :(

      1. Tomato42 Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Waiting for the genuine pirated version

        you missed the part where he is the paying customer, and as a paying customer he gets worse experience than a pirate

        1. illiad

          Re: Waiting for the genuine pirated version

          and as a paying customer, why does he not ask the person he paid??? It is the same with cars..

          If you upgrade your car with cheap bits, don't expect the car shop to fix them when they go wrong - they may even say the cannot touch it, it was not fitted by their experts...

          It is your fault, if you pay good money for it, if you cannot be bothered to ask the company to fix their work!

    2. Greg D

      Re: Waiting for the genuine pirated version

      Same thing with legit movies. Some releases have stopped recently, but I watched a DVD (woo, old skool!) recently at my mum's, and had to sit through adverts, trailers and intro cutscenes before I could even play the damn movie.

      Pirated films on the other hand, download, play, enjoy. Sometimes even better quality, depending on the release schedule and rip source.

      I agree with your view though - I use a multi-purpose USB bootloader crammed with different Linux and Windows installer ISO's. All of the Windows ones are pirate, although I personally own 2x Win7 Pro licenses, MS don't have an official ISO I can use with all patches, SP's and other apps I consider "must-have out of the box". Very inconvenient.

      Recently I have been able to mount the WIM files from my Win7 Pro vanilla disk, stream in the SP's and patches, and set up task sequences through MDT and build a half decent task sequencer into it for installing my apps post-install. The tools are there, they just want you to do all the work :)

  34. Ken 14

    When dealing with Windows you take your chances.

    My son has a WIN 7 Lap Top and the hard drive failed. Because the recover media was on a partition on the failed drive we needed a copy of WIN 7 to reinstall on the new drive. I scoured the Microsoft site until I found out that they already stopped supporting WIN 7 and found a link they provided to another site where I could download a full copy of WIN 7. Well it loaded onto his system just fine and apparently activated just fine using the licensing key still attached to the bottom of his machine. Three months later it decided that it was not a genuine copy of WIN 7 and stopped it from updating and put a nag window up. I wound up having to purchase a set of recovery disks from Toshiba to get his machine up and running again without getting a nag screen. All I see for a future with a WIN 10 upgrade is endless problems down the line after another hardware failure that requires a full reload. I'll just skip an upgrade to WIN 10 and I think when I have another failure that it will be time for Linux...

    1. illiad

      Re: When dealing with Windows you take your chances.

      and you did not phone MS??????

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unlicensed DOS is worse than licensed?

    This sounds highly unlikely. How can the lack of a license make it work even worse? They're suggesting a level of non-operation that simply isn't credible.

    1. illiad

      Re: Unlicensed DOS is worse than licensed?

      Er we are talking OS (operating system) DOS usually refers to the non-graphical system pre - 95...

      The 'DOS prompt' in win7 and above is an 'emulation' of this..

      "worse than licensed" are weasel words for

      " you won't get our full support " and

      " if it goes wrong, we wont help you"

      Of course, most find it is a bit lacking... I was trying a few days ago, and the idiot support guy would not tell me anything without an ID..

      found all the details my self with a bit of googling...

  36. Pea Mindle

    My Windows 7 is not genuine, but I BOUGHT it with my own money. The key won't work though, it use to but since I installed it on my new machine it doesn't work. I honestly feel violated by reading this news, and I want my money back.

    1. illiad

      @Pea Mindle

      This key is the official one?? this is what it looks like.. Hope you bought it at a RELIABLE shop...

      http://www.sevenforums.com/attachments/tutorials/202840d1331785878-clean-reinstall-factory-oem-windows-7-a-coa-stickers.gif

      Have you not had the message to phone MS?? You can use the freephone number, and the voice prompts will guide you to activate windows... If they verify it is a fake, then go back to the shop...

  37. ashcream

    update or outdate that's the question ?

    like indoor or outdoor ....

    still in log ?

    in my ashcream please ....

  38. Enrico Vanni

    Irrelevant. I have already told my 'friends and family' group I support to avoid the free 10 upgrade and stick with 7 for desktops and laptops - I simply had to say 'subscription' and 'remember the pain of Windows 8' and they were convinced. Everything else is now on iOS or Android anyway.

    1. illiad

      BUT will they have forgotten this in a few months, when they see all the glamorous advertising???

  39. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Makes as much sense as the Windows EULA does.

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