Attempts to curb software piracy have been conciliatory lately. Less and less are pirates being blamed for poor sales of software, and instead measures are being taken to bring them back into the paying customer fold. Paradox is trying to tempt pirates into buying Cities: Skylines by offering lots of free updates on Steam, for instance, but Microsoft is taking it one step further.
Users of Windows 7 and later will get a free upgrade to Windows 10, and that includes pirates. This is an attempt to curb OS piracy in China, where around 1 in 10 Windows users are using a pirated copy.
Microsoft’s Terry Myerson told Reuters that the free upgrade would be for “all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine”.
This could mean free upgrades for millions of pirated versions of Windows.
Microsoft has made countless to thwart pirates in the past, starting with activation licenses with Windows XP. Of course, the pirates always manage to get the better of them. But this time the compay is taking the carrot, rather than the stick, approach. It’s hoped that the move will inspire pirates to purchase a license and become a paying customer.
Windows 10 is expected to appear this summer.