Non-Genuine Windows 7/8 users can upgrade.. to Non-Genuine Windows 10

Microsoft announces it is to take control of update process for Windows 10 mobile devices and offers further details on the upgrade options for users of pirated operating systems

Microsoft has indicated that it is to take full control of the update process of Windows 10 mobile devices, removing carriers from the equation.

Windows boss Terry Myerson said in a blog post that the rolling update process would extend to all Windows 10 devices.

“Here at Microsoft, we take our responsibility to keep Windows secure seriously,” Myerson wrote. “We follow up on all reported security issues, continuously probe our software with leading edge techniques, and proactively update supported devices with necessary updates to address issues. And today, we’re announcing this continuous update process applies to all Windows 10 devices, including phones.”

The reclaiming of the update process is in direct contrast to Google’s model, where carriers and OEMs have the final say on when to release an update to its customers. Google says that this is due to the open-source nature of the OS, however, critics complain that this has led to a fragmented and insecure ecosystem and Myerson couldn’t help but to have a jab.

“This level of commitment and support is far different than Android, for example, where Google refuses to take responsibility for updating their customers’ devices, leaving end-users and business increasingly exposed every day they use the device,” he wrote.

Apple, the other major player in the mobile operating system space, also retains direct control of its update rollouts.

This announcement seems to be in line with Microsoft’s new ‘Windows-as-a-Service’ way of thinking about upgrades and updates. The Redmond firm last week also revealed that Windows 10 would be the last numbered version of the OS, with all future updates coming as and when they were developed.

In other news, Myerson attempted to clear up some confusion surrounding the upgrade options for pirated versions of Windows.

Until now, Microsoft had painted a picture where all Windows 7 and 8 users would be entitled to a free upgrade, regardless of whether or not their version was genuine. This was widely seen as clever move to bring users with non-genuine versions, often in developing nations, into the lawful fold; however, Myerson’s latest blog post backtracks on this prospect.

“When we can’t verify that Windows is properly installed, licensed, and not tampered with, we create a desktop watermark to notify the user,” he said. “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. Non-Genuine Windows is not supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner.”

While it is difficult to be certain, it sounds like users of pirated versions of Windows 7 and 8 will still be able to upgrade to Windows 10, however, the OS will continue to be watermarked as ‘Non-Genuine’.

Myerson added: “In partnership with some of our valued OEM partners, we are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state,” indicating that Microsoft intends to entice users away from the dark side with a nominal fee.

Windows 10 is expected to be released this summer with Windows Mobile 10 following later in the year.

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