Microsoft plans to launch Windows 10 in the summer of 2015. The company has been offering free public previews of the operating system since last fall, but the full version of Windows 10 will launch in 190 countries with support for 111 images this summer.

At that time we’ll probably start to see laptops, tablets, desktops, and phones shipping with Windows 10 software. The operating system will also be available as a free upgrade for anyone running Windows 7 or later — even some folks who are running pirated versions of those operating systems.

windows 10

In an interview with Reuters, Microsoft’s Terry Myserson says the upgrade will be available for “all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine.” In other words, even if you have an unlicensed copy of Windows, you’ll be able to upgrade to a licensed copy.

The announcement came on the same day that Myerson spoke about the Windows 10 launch at an event in Shenzhen, China. Pirated software is extraordinarily common in China and this move could be a way to get people interested in running Microsoft software onboard with official builds of the operating system. While that won’t turn them into paying customers, it does cut down on piracy and ensure that users get the same software experience no matter where they are… and that software experience feature tight integration with Microsoft services such as Bing Search, OneDrive cloud storage, and the Windows Store which could open up new revenue streams for Microsoft in markets such as China.

It’s not clear if the free upgrades for non-genuine versions of Windows will be available outside of China.

Update: The free upgrade will be available for just about anyone running Windows 7 or later, whether they have a valid license key or not and whether they live in China or not. But updating to Windows 10 won’t change your license status: if you had a “non-genuine” version of Windows before upgrading to Windows 10 you’ll still have a “non-genuine” operating system after the upgrade. 

Windows 10 is designed to run across a range of devices including phones, tablets, and traditional PCs such as desktop and laptop computers. It brings a Start Menu back to desktop mode, adds a feature called Continuum which allows 2-in-1 devices to seamlessly transition between desktop and tablet user interfaces depending on whether a keyboard is attached, and supports Universal Windows apps which can run across a range of devices including Xbox One game consoles.

Microsoft has also unveiled another new feature called Windows Hello which allows you to login to a computer using biometric security such as facial, iris, or fingerprint recognition as well as Microsoft Passport, which allows you to login to apps and websites without a password.

There’s also a new free version of Windows 10 optimized for low-power Internet of Things devices.

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24 replies on “Microsoft Windows 10 launches this summer as a free upgrade”

  1. Windows XP is going strong, and there is always Linux Mint and Ubuntu. Screw Microsoft, Apple and Google they are all mammoth monopoly capital not in the interest of the planet, people or animals.

  2. Microcruft has been smarting from being schooled by Google for so long, they actually got a little bit smarter ^^

  3. I’ve heard the support is only for one year, and elsewhere for the duration of windows 10. So will windows 10 expire its support, or require upgrades ala 10.2.3.4.5 like Mac osx? Edit: I’m right because the first link in article says the upgrade is free for one year. Which makes it more like a trial, compared to extended Windows 7 support til 2020.

    I once had a laser printer by Apple supported by Windows XP. It worked very well and had had toner left over. Eventually I got a free upgrade to Vista. The drivers went missing and luckily After some digging an HP driver with compatible inf allowed the apple driver to work. I hadn’t found it in Windows 7 and I doubt it would be. Long story short, I can,t risk losing functionality of many valuable peripheral software like my scanner to use Windows 10 for one year. Hardware is made to last. Fortunately my new laser printer works on linux so whenever I don’t want to use my PC past 2020 offline due to windows extended support being gone, at least I can use it on Linux. But I’d imagine windows 8 and 10 will have possible legacy support for some, not all utilities.

    1. Support is for the lifetime of the product — Windows 10 will be supported until at least 2020, and probably 2021. You’re probably thinking of the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer, which expires in a year.

      1. I reread and you seem to be right. I happen to have a couple Windows 7 licenses(one unused) but I’m only upgrading one since I have premium and it only supports 16gb ram, so if I build a PC in the next year I’ll install windows 7 premium, and I’ll be able to upgrade it to 10 to use all 32gb and direct x 12, because amd abandoned mantle…

  4. Better get that copy of Windows 7 back onto my old laptop. Hard drive crashed, so I should get the recovered OS onto a new HDD

  5. I love the ads for OEM copies of Windows from Amazon to the right of this thread.

      1. The article content and title get sampled in defining the targeting algo. This article has the word “Windows” in the title twice, and mentions “Windows” all of 12 times in the content !
        So right now I’m very curious, what could you have possibly been browsing for, to have 12 mentions overruled 🙂 Give us a print screen please.

        1. Just my recent searches on Amazon and Bannggood. What did you expect? I mean isn’t it more interesting if the ads do not have a track history to display ads for that it has to use page content mentions? Which likely means you’re frequently in incognito mode. That’s a more interesting browsing history.

    1. smart IT managers will now install pirated versions of windoze 7 on all systems 🙂

  6. If the free pirate upgrade is restricted to CHina, an enterprising
    person could set up VPNs into China so outside pirated versions of
    Windows could get in on the free upgrade.

    1. They could stymie this by only allowing you to upgrade to the Chinese version. Probably not, but it’s a possibility.

  7. The question is whether M$ offers the free upgrade for unlicensed copies worldwide or specifically in China. Since M$ continues to indirectly support XP in China, but not worldwide, I speculate that the Win10 free upgrade for unlicensed copies will be limited to China. Second, I speculate that M$ will offer the free upgrade to XP customers in China, but not worldwide.

    I wish M$ would relocate to China. Maybe the shareholders would enjoy China nationalizing M$ assets.

  8. I like the plan, but something makes me not trust this until I’ve looked into it more.

  9. Its the same old M$.

    3E strategy. Embrace, enhance, extinguish. Look it up.

    They’re just after the market share they’ve been losing to apple and android and chromebooks.

      1. It’s got nothing to do with the desktop/laptop market share. This is everything to do with building the Microsoft ecosystem across all devices, especially mobile, where they are still miles behind Google and Apple.

    1. the M$ stuff is getting boring. It’s 2015 already..it’s like calling Apple innovative

    2. What’s the Chromebook market share again? Look it up. And wake me up when Macs become popular – if Chromebook share grows, it’ll overtake Mac OS long before Windows.

  10. “Microsoft Windows 10 launches this summer as a free upgrade (even for pirated Windows users).” In fu*king credible! What company are you and what did you do with Microsoft?

      1. Don’t expect it to last. Microsoft is doing this from a position of weakness. They have been losing the mobile market to Google and Apple big time, and this is their strategy to get back in the game. If they succeed, they will most likely revert to their previous ways.

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