Update Microsoft has now sent a statement to Polygon that says even if pirates do update their old non-licensed version of Windows to Windows 10, they will still be using an un-licensed software product. Here's Microsoft's new statement:
Original story In what may turn out to be an historic move in the battle against piracy, Microsoft's Terry Myerson has announced that the software vendor will allow all customers — whether they're running genuine Windows software or a pirated version — to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
The move is clearly targeted at the Chinese market, where two-thirds of all PCs run pirated versions of Windows. Speaking to Reuters, Myerson said:
By giving away Windows 10 for free, at least for the first year, Microsoft is deviating from its regular sales model for the first time. The software maker announced earlier today that Windows 10 will be launching this summer in 190 countries, with the vendor focusing its attention on China.
Lenovo has committed to rolling out the Windows 10 upgrade to its customers as soon as it becomes available, as well as stating that it would launch its first Windows Phone over the summer.
The Redmond giant also inked a deal with Chinese internet portal Tencent in bringing popular games such as League of Legends to the Windows 10 store. Tencent has stated that it will also be working to roll out the Windows 10 update as soon as possible.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.