Today at the renewed Windows Hardware Engineering Community summit in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages.
Microsoft also announced free upgrade to Windows 10 for hundreds of millions of customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 for the first year after it is released, and this means that also Pirated Editions will be licensed.
“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” says Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Windows chief, in an interview with Reuters. The move means that thousands, perhaps millions, of machines will get a free copy of Windows 10 even if a license has not been properly acquired. “Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “We believe customers over time will realize the value of properly licensing Windows and we will make it easy for them to move to legitimate copies.”
Microsoft has been suffering from piracy for years and the activation software that has been installed in 2011 has been bypassed ever since. Steve Ballmer back in 2011 showed how in China for example, one in ten customers is actually a paying customer, and the issues continue in other big countries around the world like Brazil, Russia, India and China, while the Balkans remains problematic as well.