Windows 10 – Pirates Beware!


 

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Well shiver me timbers me hearties and pass the grog!

Just when you thought the decks had been nicely cleared for your hornpipes and buxom wenches, Microsoft hoists its colours and decides that you’ll be walking the plank after all, ye olde sea dogs!

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…..Microsoft lawyer spokesman.

One has to wonder sometimes whether the right hand knows what the left is doing at Microsoft. With their recent announcement that all Windows 7 and 8 users, whether genuine or not, would be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 during the first year, one could be mistaken for imagining that they had cleared the decks and declared an amnesty for those who had acquired Windows through more nefarious means.

Not so. Whilst not an actual u-turn and more a legalese intervention, their latest statement appears to be more of a clarification of their previous free upgrade statement, but achieves nothing more than to disturb the calm waters they had just sailed us all into. Users of genuine copies of Windows were already throwing their toys overboard, asking why they should have to subsidise those good-for-nothing scabby pirates who had robbed them blind and were now being let off the hook scot free. One can only imagine the scene at Microsoft HQ when their legal team suffered a light-bulb moment and realised that they were perfectly positioned to add a codicil to their initial statement, presumably to mollify the bleeding heart genuine users and inserting a brand new word, namely mislicensed into the plot.

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We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10….Terry Myerson, Microsoft, January 2015.

Isn’t semantics wonderful? Lawyers wouldn’t be anywhere without it in their kit-bag and the English language is nothing if not richer for the additions to its lexicon of multifaceted words with which to play. Non-genuine therefore becomes mislicensed; loophole closed, so lawyers and staunch Windows supporters who fall on the side of genuine can go home to sleep at night knowing they haven’t been cheated and robbed blind.


cortana

Microsoft owes you nothing

The idea pervading through the ether that somehow Microsoft owes us all a free lunch (in part due to the Windows 8 fiasco, according to some) and the fact that Apple is able to upgrade users’ systems free of charge, does not equate to an obligation on Microsoft’s part to give us all a freebie. Further, the update from Windows 8 to 8.1 whilst a messy affair, was a Windows update (which are free anyway) and NOT a free Windows upgrade. In its announcement from January, Microsoft more or less conceded that, having lost the battle against piracy, it had decided to take the pragmatic approach by adjusting its business model and moving Windows into the area of a service rather than a consumer product.

A year is a hell of a long time in terms of software cycles nowadays and one would assume that it’s plenty of time for most of us to get on board and grab the offer from Microsoft before it’s too late, come August 2016 or thereabouts. And if you didn’t grab it then, you couldn’t say you weren’t warned. The times they are a changin’ and one thing’s for sure: you will pay. If not now, somewhere down this crazy river, but you will pay and you will subscribe.

On the other hand, many bleeding heart, genuine, licensed Windows users have indignantly pronounced that they intend to either jump ship to Linux, demand a refund from Microsoft  and/or become Apple converts at the very thought of those swarthy pirates being saved from hanging at the yardarm. Of course, it could be said that those very pirates are responsible for helping push Windows into the mainstream in the first place, bearing in mind that many have said, including Steve Ballmer, that only one in ten copies of Windows are genuine in the first place.

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One day, you will pay

For every computer that comes into my shop with a genuine Windows installation, I see ten or more that are pirated, with most of the users being totally oblivious to the fact. All they care about is whether it works and does what it says on the tin, genuine Windows or software theft messages, notwithstanding. One could therefore argue that pirates, unwitting or not, are still users in most senses of the word and many would most likely pay some small token subscription fee in order to bring themselves over to the right side side of the fence, much as many law enforcement agencies hire hackers as latter day poachers turned gamekeepers.

In respect to this recent mislicense announcement then, Microsoft has blurred the lines once again in a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.


Tune in the same time next week for more adventures with Miss License and The Microsoft Marauders!

 

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About the Author

Marc Thomas

Marc is an avid traveler, motorcyclist, entrepreneur, and gamer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His interest in computers and technology began in the early 1990's when he was introduced by a friend to a Zenith Data Systems computer running DOS. In the years following he has experienced all versions of the Windows operating system, built hundreds of systems, and fixed many more for his customers. Marc also has an interesting forum you might like to check out at Argentina Expats

11 Comments

  1. As a legal holder of Windows, I’m not bothered at all. It’s still a *free* upgrade for me, Mindblower!

  2. Umm. And by changing Windows to a service — something I want nothing to do with, and that is where “service” Os is going to take us — they can shut it down every time your subscription runs out. Never mind, the %$& thing can change from day to day.

    No thank you MS. I never thought that I would seriously consider a switch to Linux, but you aren’t leaving me a decent choice. I’ll stick with my two current OSs until you find a way to destroy them, and then I’m cutting the cord.

  3. What I don’t understand is if I upgrade using a legit copy of say Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 within the time frame allowed after the one year of using Windows 10 are they now going to charge me a yearly fee to use Windows 10? If so then I’ve lost my license for Windows 8.1 because I upgraded to Windows 10 and now I can’t go back to Windows 8.1?

    • after the one year of using Windows 10 are they now going to charge me a yearly fee to use Windows 10?

      No. The one year time frame is for the free upgrade – as in, Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for 12 months after its initial release. Provided you upgrade to Windows 10 within that first year, the upgrade will be free and the license will be perpetual – as in no fees to pay ever.

      Those who choose not to upgrade during that initial year will have to pay if they then wish to upgrade to Windows 10.

      • What about a yearly subscription, after your first year is up? Jim, I am sorry, but, knowing how MS LOVES to earn money … I simply, can NOT believe, they will give a complete OS, for FREE!!!

        If, it sounds too good to be true … It probably isn’t. There will be a caveat, somewhere.

        Plus, if, we are NOT happy with Windows 10 … Can we go back to our original OS??? Just asking. Look how many, upgraded to MS Millennium and Vista and hated both OS’s, by MS. It was hard, for them to go back to Windows XP, which by the way, is still one of the best MS OS’s, they have ever created. Windows 7 comes in second, in my opinion. Mind you, I fought long and hard, to upgrading to Windows 7!!! I honestly, hated to give up my Windows XP, darn but I truly loved that OS.

  4. Nicely written article Marc.

    Here’s my take on the free upgrade…….

    Since there will be a whole mess of computers upgrading to v10 in a short period of time, Windows will relax their restrictions. Once the mass hysteria is over, Windows can “nit-pic” on the software being legit or not.

    If the registration process for v10 is the same as it was for v8.1, you must create a “Microsoft User Account”. In the process of creating this account, MS will obtain enough information to force “non-genuine users” into “genuine users”.

    Since a VAST majority of Window’s User’s don’t “back-up” anything, when v10 locks-down for being non-genuine the user’s can’t revert back to the old OS. Hence the “non-genuine” will be forced to pay to make their system “genuine”.

    Microsoft has many lawyers “chomping-at-the bit” waiting to bring these people to court. Once a few people go to court, and MS wins, the rest of the user’s will quickly comply to MS’s claim for payment. I’m not saying they ALL will pay, but enough to justify MS’s laxing of the original upgrades. A win, win for MS, everyone is on the same OS and they are all legit now.

    Just my thoughts…………..Alan

    • AJ, we love humour here at DCT and I’m sure Abbott and Costello would have come up with a fine skit on pirates if they’d been around today and this was certainly out of left field.

      • Thanks, Marc.

        As someone once said, laughter is the best medicine (and we can sure use all the laughter we can get, these days…).

        Regards,

        AJ

  5. Not sure if Microsoft-touch even knows what is legitimate or otherwise. I have seen ‘borrowed’ windows xp, win 7 and win 8.1 installs.Microsoft is more than happy to welcome them as legitimate owners with all up dates & no nasty warnings .. …?