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Sorry, pirated software users: No free Windows 10 upgrade for you

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Sorry, users of pirated Microsoft Windows software: You won’t be among those getting that free upgrade to Windows 10.

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson made this policy official in a blog post where he also said Microsoft will create a watermark if it cannot verify if Windows is genuine.

“While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state,” he said in a blog post.

But he said Microsoft and its OEM partners are planning “very attractive” Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running older devices in a Non-Genuine state.

He also said that if Microsoft cannot verify if Windows is not tampered with, “we create a desktop watermark to notify the user.”

“If you ever encounter this watermark on a new machine, I encourage you to return the device immediately to the retailer from whom you purchased it and request a Genuine Windows device. Non-Genuine Windows has a high risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions,” he said.

But those who have “Genuine” Windows 7 and 8.1 can upgrade free to Windows 10, and continue to receive updates for free.

A separate report on PC World said this appears to clear the air on Microsoft’s earlier hint it may offer free Windows 10 upgrades even to those who had pirated copies of software.

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