Running a dodgy version of Windows? You won’t be getting a full upgrade to Windows 10 after all


Microsoft has moved to clarify recent comments regarding users who are currently running a non-genuine copy of Windows 7 and 8.1 being able to upgrade to Windows 10.

Following the announcement of Windows 10 earlier this week, Microsoft exec Terry Myerson told Reuters: “we are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.”

Now at the time this sounded too good to be true – the idea that if you were running a non-genuine version of Windows, Microsoft would still be prepared to upgrade your dodgy copy to Windows 10.

Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that PCs with pirated versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be upgraded to Windows 10. However, the upgraded versions will remain “non-genuine” and will be not be supported by Microsoft.

According to Venture Beat, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the following:

“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.

“Non-genuine Windows is not published by Microsoft. It is not properly licensed or supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade.

According to industry experts, use of pirated software, including Non-genuine Windows, results in a higher risk of malware, fraud — identity theft, credit card theft, etc. — public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions.”

If you’ve ever tried to upgrade a non-genuine version of Windows, you’ll know that once Microsoft recognises you’re using an illegitimate copy, the desktop changes, normally to black screen, and you’re constantly told that you’re version is not genuine, to the point which it all becomes very annoying, although you can still use the majority of Windows features.

Of course, Microsoft could just completely disable all non-genuine versions of Windows, but then it would run the risk of potentially losing users who may decide to purchase a genuine version at some point in the future.

Despite the debacle of Windows 8, Microsoft’s operating system is still one of the companies most lucrative products.

Windows 10 is due to be released this summer and the full version will be available as a free upgrade for users running licensed versions of Window 7 and Windows 8.1.



  1. so,, basically,, non-licensed users are upgraded, and it is not supported. (which means what ?) sounds like it will run as normal. (after all, if someone has been using non-licensed OLD version of windows sucessfully, then why would it bother them if the new version is also not licensed.) actually, this is a good option because it saves the user TIME and MONEY to buy a pirated windows 10 disk!

  2. I think it will be same old, same old. They say, can not. And then somebody will find a way, where you can use a crack and hoppa. Resistance is futile. By yeah…buy it…its the corner stone of your PC…don’t discount on foundations.

  3. แครี ดัน on

    The only thing dodgy with my Windows (8.1) is the (profanity) that made it. Fully licensed versions of 8.1 on 3 computers (yes, 3 completely separate, paid for licenses, included 3 separately paid for copies of Office). The versions on the laptops run fine. The copy on the desktop craps out 8-10 times a week with the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD), often showing an error that has been reported to Microsoft for as long as Windows 8 has been released (i.e. a couple years now). Sometimes it throws a different error – I check it out and sure enough, that error has been reported to Microsoft for years and still hasn’t been fixed either.
    I’m up to about 6 different errors now, though often it will throw the same one 2-3 times in a row, then a different one, then a different one, then the first one again (etc, etc).
    Do I hold out hope that those errors will be corrected in Win 10 ? No. Not even a little bit.

  4. LordSnootyandHisPals on

    What about Windows Vista? That is still supported by MS, so why no free upgrade?

  5. pitty you. You really should try Ubuntu. none of this misery at all AND…. it s free.
    As for Office licences, complete waste of money, get the free (as off free beer) LibreOffice, works even on Windows and can handle all common window file formats as well.

  6. nope , no free update fro Vista. Nobody counts that that bad OS is still in use, I fear.

  7. LordSnootyandHisPals on

    Everybody moans about it but my six-year-old Vista Business still chugs away with only the usual MS glitches. Damn, I’ll just have to get a bootleg 7 or 10 then, hardly worth paying for it on an old laptop.

  8. Me 2. The PC I’m on now was Vista until a few months ago when hdd died and I had a spare with genuine Win7 on it. One of my laptops still running Vista Home Premium. Plan to buy a copy or two of Win7 while it’s still around, just in case 10 is a bust too.

  9. “According to industry experts, use of pirated software, including
    Non-genuine Windows, results in a higher risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your
    personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature

    Utter rubbish. My version is not legal but is the original software. Whoever wrote this needs to speak to real “industry experts”.

  10. gwyn morgan on

    And ……… what about legitimate licensed (checked by MS) of good old XP? No hope I guess!

  11. @Capt635, you guess is right. MS has put XP already long time back in the museum, though some computers are still happy running on it. (I have it on my PC in a double boot, but have not used it anymore since 1 year). Get a licenced 2nd hand W.7 for low price and install that, that’s what I did for my notebook; that came “dos” delivered 🙂