Why Microsoft Is Giving Away Windows 10 To Pirates

Windows 10

When Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be a free, automatic upgrade from Windows 7 or 8, it was an unusual move. The company has never been known for handing out its operating systems, but the running theory was that Windows 8 was generally so poorly received, they simply wanted to move on, and take all those users with it.

The joke was that they wanted to get so far away from Windows 8, they skipped 9 altogether and ran all the way to 10 instead.

But now it’s clear just how badly Microsoft wants a unified user base on Windows 10. Speaking to Reuters yesterday, Windows chief Terry Myerson explained:

“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.”

And in case that isn’t clear, a Microsoft spokesperson clarified exactly what that meant to The Verge:

“Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows.”

That’s right, even if your copy of Windows 7 or 8 is illegitimate, you are still able to upgrade to a legal copy of Windows 10 for free. On the surface it seems insane, but examined closer, the reasons start to become clear.

Even though Microsoft has long struggled with piracy issues, licensing is becoming an increasingly less important part of their revenue model.

It’s dropped from 23 percent of revenue to 16 percent, year over year, between Windows and Office licenses.

The idea here is that with a legitimate copy of Windows in hand, even pirates may be more likely to shell out for Microsoft’s other products like Skype and Office 365.

Full article @ Forbes