Users who have pirate copies of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free when it launches later this year, Microsoft has confirmed.
Microsoft’s plan to offer the free upgrade to pirates was detailed in a Reuters report, which said the company was making a push into the heavily-pirated Chinese market.
In a post on the Windows Blog, the executive vice president of operating systems at Microsoft Terry Myerson announced a number of partnerships to help drive adoption of Windows 10 in China.
Microsoft has since confirmed it plans to offer free Windows 10 upgrades to users of genuine and pirate versions of Windows beyond China, too.
“Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Window 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows,” said Microsoft.
“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 announced in January 2015 that it would offer free Windows 10 upgrades for the first year after the operating system launches.
The upgrade will be available to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 users.
Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will keep it current for the supported lifetime for the device.
For businesses, Microsoft will continue to support Windows the way it works today: with long-term branches and long-term support.
Myerson also announced that Windows 10 would launch “this summer” (May – September 2015).