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  1. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,424
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15007
       22 Mar 2015 #11

    Microsoft's obsession with piracy threatens to create a Windows 10 licensing mess

    Microsoft wants everyone to run Windows 10.

    They're so determined to make a clean break with the past, in fact, that they've made an unprecedented offer of free Windows 10 upgrades for anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. That's a huge user base, representing hundreds of millions and perhaps more than 1 billion PCs worldwide.

    This is a very big deal. For the first time ever, a major Windows version upgrade will arrive via Windows Update, with no payment required and no hoops to jump through.

    They doubled down on that deal last week with news that the upgrade would be available even on PCs running "non-genuine" (pirated) copies of Windows.

    Now, though, the company appears to be backing down from that initial, apparently too-good-to-be-true offer.

    It's yet another round of disappointment in the continuing saga of Microsoft licensing. Every time it looks like the company is about to do something to make Windows licensing more sensible and less onerous, someone (usually in the legal department) gets cold feet.

    To understand what's going on here, we need to start with a quick primer on how Microsoft turns operating systems into cash.

    Microsoft's business model for Windows has been unchanged for years: PC makers pay for OEM copies of Windows, which they sell to consumers and businesses. Consumers pay for upgrades (unless they're hobbyists building their own PCs, in which case they are expected to pay for a retail Windows license). Enterprise customers pay dearly for volume license upgrades that include a slew of advanced management features and additional use rights.

    The bedrock of that model is the full Windows license , which Microsoft insists on receiving payment for, usually through an OEM. Through the years, Microsoft has come up with stickers and certificates of authenticity, augmented by holograms and other anti-tampering mechanisms, to help prove that a PC has that underlying license and is thus, in its weird marketing-speak, "genuine."

    It was big news back in January when Windows boss Terry Myerson announced that "a free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch.*"

    Note the word "customers." Myerson didn't say "consumers," and there's not a word in the accompanying blog post to suggest a distinction between business and consumer use. (That fact will become important shortly.)

    Yes, there's an asterisk, which leads to this footnote:

    *Hardware and software requirements apply. No additional charge. Feature availability may vary by device. Some editions excluded. More details at Windows - Microsoft Windows
    .

    Last week, Microsoft took the "free upgrade for everyone" story to the next level, with Reuters reporting that Myerson told them, in a telephone interview, "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10."

    At Microsoft, "non-genuine" means improperly licensed and pirated copies, and the Reuters story quotes Myerson as discussing Microsoft's desire to "re-engage" with hundreds of millions of Windows users in China, where most are running unlicensed pirated copies of Windows.

    I confirmed that quote via email with a Microsoft spokesperson and also asked whether the deal applied worldwide. Here's our complete exchange on the subject:

    Me: And on the "free upgrades for pirates" surprise announce, does that apply worldwide?

    Spokesperson: The upgrade applies to any market.
    The first impression from Myerson's remarks was that Microsoft was essentially offering an amnesty program, as the company "re-engages" with pirates worldwide. Get an upgrade, they appeared to be saying, and come back to the fold. All is forgiven, and by the way can we interest you in Microsoft services like Skype and Office 365?

    But a follow-up statement from Microsoft, one that has clearly been vetted by lawyers and top management, arrived less than 24 hours later and is chock-full of qualifiers:

    The statement came in two pieces. First:

    The consumer free upgrade offer for Windows 10 applies to qualified new and existing devices running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Some editions are excluded from the consumer free upgrade - including Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to other Windows 10 enterprise offerings.
    Read more: Microsoft's obsession with piracy threatens to create a Windows 10 licensing mess | ZDNet
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  2. Joined : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 6,963
    All kinds
       22 Mar 2015 #12

    Whatever they do, there's going to be tons of pirated copies, that's for sure. Seems like MS have never been to concerned about it. Best thing for them would be to sell it very cheap, for first year or two.
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  3. Joined : Oct 2014
    Posts : 839
    Windows 8.1, Win10Pro
       22 Mar 2015 #13

    Best thing for them would be to sell it very cheap, for first year or two.
    Well, they did that with $40 copies of Win8 -- which is how I got mine. IF they were to offer Win10 for the same fee, that would be OK with me. Doubt that would really reduce piracy much, as even offering it for $10 is not going to persuade those folks to actually PAY for something.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Oct 2014
    Posts : 1,541
    W7 32 bit, Linux Mint Xfce 18 64 bit
       23 Mar 2015 #14

    Lifecycle Policy Infomation and question


    Microsoft's obsession with piracy threatens to create a Windows 10 licensing mess | ZDNet


    If I am reading this correctly.
    All new consumer devices have 5 years mainstream support with 5 years of extend support.
    So does that mean those systems that are upgrade to windows 10 will only have 5 years of extended support?

    I think business users (Non enterprise) again if I am reading correctly will have shorter Lifecycle and may have to pay for updates.

    What I read on the website is a little confusing.

    Edited to add questions & another comment

    What happens to your device after 5 years if you don't upgrade or it becomes unsupported? Does it have reduce functionality? Does it become a paperweight and stop working?


    I am actually thinking of not upgrading to windows 10 because of the Lifecycle policy if that is Zdnet article is accurate. I am assuming, I would only have 5 years of windows 10 being supported on my windows 7 system.
    Last edited by groze; 24 Mar 2015 at 06:29.
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  5. Joined : Oct 2014
    Posts : 480
    Windows 10
       24 Mar 2015 #15

    Mark Phelps said: View Post
    Well, they did that with $40 copies of Win8 -- which is how I got mine. IF they were to offer Win10 for the same fee, that would be OK with me. Doubt that would really reduce piracy much, as even offering it for $10 is not going to persuade those folks to actually PAY for something.
    I bought 4 copies at $40 each, maybe we're the only ones that liked Windows 8.
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  6. Joined : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 8,209
    Windows 10 IoT
       24 Mar 2015 #16

    adamf said: View Post
    Apparently if you upgrade a pirated version you'll only end up with pirated version of 10 though. Upgrading to Windows 10 on pirated versions wont get you a valid license
    The way I read it the new version of 10 won't be pirated, it will be non genuine/not activated. You'll end up with a 30 day trial or something. It's going to nag you to buy/enter a valid product code and activate it. They won't get a free ride forever. That's my take on it anyway. I haven't read that other link on Licensing mess yet though.
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  7. Joined : Dec 2013
    Cheshire, England
    Posts : 1,422
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       24 Mar 2015 #17

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    The way I read it the new version of 10 won't be pirated, it will be non genuine/not activated. You'll end up with a 30 day trial or something. It's going to nag you to buy/enter a valid product code and activate it. They won't get a free ride forever. That's my take on it anyway. I haven't read that other link on Licensing mess yet though.
    That's the way i read it too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    24 Mar 2015 #18

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    The way I read it the new version of 10 won't be pirated, it will be non genuine/not activated. You'll end up with a 30 day trial or something. It's going to nag you to buy/enter a valid product code and activate it. They won't get a free ride forever. That's my take on it anyway. I haven't read that other link on Licensing mess yet though.
    Hi there

    While not getting into the morality of the situation it's obvious that the suggestion outlined above will not reduce PIRACY by even ONE SINGLE COPY so what on earth was the point of Ms even bothering to make this announcement. There's nothing radically different to what happens now.

    It didn't take long for Pirates to "activate" W7, W8 and W8.1. I suspect that methods are already in place for "Alternative activation" of W10 when RTM appears.

    Maybe Ms should simply just bite the bullet -- allow everyone a W10 license - in the long run it probably won't cost them too much money as it seems that they are trying to move as many people as possible to Cloud based and subscription services.

    Ms should learn the old simple maxim --"When you are in a hole --stop digging ". They would have done much better to say NOTHING and at RTM offer people really cheap upgrades. Wouldn't STOP piracy buy would reduce it if the price was right - say 15 USD upgrade.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  9. Joined : Oct 2014
    Posts : 1,541
    W7 32 bit, Linux Mint Xfce 18 64 bit
       24 Mar 2015 #19

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    The way I read it the new version of 10 won't be pirated, it will be non genuine/not activated. You'll end up with a 30 day trial or something. It's going to nag you to buy/enter a valid product code and activate it. They won't get a free ride forever. That's my take on it anyway. I haven't read that other link on Licensing mess yet though.
    @alphanumeric

    My post number 14 was referring what the life cycle policy is not licensing issue but that same ZDnet article talked about that pirated issue as well as some licensing issues.

    However, I don't know if that life cycle policy is official or ZDnet interpretation, like I said above some of it was confusing.
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  10. Joined : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 8,209
    Windows 10 IoT
       24 Mar 2015 #20

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi there

    While not getting into the morality of the situation it's obvious that the suggestion outlined above will not reduce PIRACY by even ONE SINGLE COPY so what on earth was the point of Ms even bothering to make this announcement. There's nothing radically different to what happens now.

    It didn't take long for Pirates to "activate" W7, W8 and W8.1. I suspect that methods are already in place for "Alternative activation" of W10 when RTM appears.

    Maybe Ms should simply just bite the bullet -- allow everyone a W10 license - in the long run it probably won't cost them too much money as it seems that they are trying to move as many people as possible to Cloud based and subscription services.

    Ms should learn the old simple maxim --"When you are in a hole --stop digging ". They would have done much better to say NOTHING and at RTM offer people really cheap upgrades. Wouldn't STOP piracy buy would reduce it if the price was right - say 15 USD upgrade.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Forget about the piracy aspect for a minute and look at it this way. This is likely going to make upgrading to Windows 10 easier for everybody, even legitimate installs. No multiple checks and hoops to jump thorough to verify your install qualifies legally. There will be less things to go wrong. Remember the rash of false non genuine Windows 7 popups that happened and the heat Microsoft got over that?
    Giving everybody a free ride sounds good but I bet all those that actually paid for Windows 7 and 8 aren't going to feel that way. You can't please all of the people all of the time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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