Free Windows 10 upgrades for all… in China
Microsoft hopes to illuminate piracy by offering free upgrades even to unlicensed OS copies
Microsoft has taken the dramatic step of offering free Windows 10 upgrades to all users in China, even those running pirated copies of the OS, in a bid to stamp out the trade in illegal copies of the company's software, Reuters reported.
China represents hundreds of millions of Windows users and as many as 75% of those may be running unlicensed software.
"We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10," said Terry Myerson, head, Operating Systems, Microsoft, in a telephone interview with Reuters.
Myerson had initially announced the upgrade scheme at the WinHEC tech conference in Shenzhen, China.
Windows 10 is seen as Microsoft's make-or-break OS in capturing a meaningful slice of the mobility market. According to Myerson, it is due for release some time during the summer, but Microsoft has yet to commit to a firm launch date.
In January Microsoft announced free upgrades to Windows 10 for users of Windows 7 or later. Redmond hopes to drive revenues on cloud services such as Office 365 by holding on to Windows users.