Earlier this week Microsoft’s Terry Myerson made some serious waves with the announcement that unlicensed copies of Windows 7 and 8 will be eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10.
He didn’t provide a whole lot of detail about it at the time, but a Microsoft representative has since spoken to Ars Technica, saying that upgrading pirate copies of Windows comes with a rather large caveat: once upgraded, they will still be unlicensed, and Microsoft will not support them.
“With Windows 10, although non-Genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license… If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mis-licensed after the upgrade.” the rep is reported to have said in a statement to Ars.
So it’s not like pirates will magically go from having illegal copies of Windows 7 and 8 to legal ones of 10.
If anyone has been celebrating since the news of Microsoft’s concession to pirates first came out, they must now put the cork back in the champagne bottle – legitimising their operating systems in the legal sense will still require some sort of purchase. The version they’ll get for upgrading for “free” will essentially be a trial or demo version, quite possibly with an expiration date built in.
While TheNextWeb speculates that the lack of support from Microsoft means illegitimate copies of 10 won’t get security updates, that’s highly unlikely – it makes zero sense that Microsoft would leave unpatched vulnerabilities in their operating systems (intentionally, anyway), even ones people didn’t pay for.
410c vs. The Pi
In other Windows 10 news, Qualcomm has just announced its own credit card-sized ARM-based computer that will be capable of running Windows 10.
Before the announcement, the Raspberry Pi 2 was the only ARM-based PC supported by a special optimised version of Windows 10, but PCWorld writes that Qualcomm’s Dragonboard 410c has been added as an alternative. It costs over double the price of the Pi 2 ($75 versus $35), but the 410c has a wider range of capabilities that include WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and a 64-bit ARM processor.
PCWorld says it has “a blend of horsepower, graphics and location-tracking capabilities not found on other board computers”; this could potentially enable inventive tinkerers to build a wider variety of tech projects with more advanced features than the Pi 2 can.
So lots of Windows 10 news this week; you’re welcome to share any thoughts you have on it with us.
[Source – Ars Technica, TheNextWeb. PCWorld]