I had this question from an anonymous reader: “First off.. I’m legit, kay? BUT I know a few (friends?) who have pirate versions of win7.. I read recently that MS changed their minds and said pirates welcomed.. I passed this on to my pirated buddies.. Was I correct? They said it took but I’m a bit apprehensive, not wanting to be the goat if they get ‘taken’ was I correct on this issue? Does MS allow pirated win7’s to upgrade to 10 without any repercussions?”

I have a hard time working up sympathy for your buddies. You don’t get “taken” when you get caught doing something illegal. The better term might be “busted.”  But I understand you not wanting to get your pals in trouble for stealing what you and the rest of us have to pay for.

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Here’s what was actually said. Microsoft’s Terry Myerson was at a conference in China and told the press that Microsoft  would be “upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine to Windows 10.”

But that doesn’t mean that your friends’ copies will suddenly become genuine copies of Windows. A non-genuine license can’t be upgraded to a genuine copy. So your friends will still be running a pirated copy.

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Users may be pestered by notifications that the PC is not genuine.  The screen may go to black sometimes. They’ll have access to critical security updates but not to optional updates may be restricted. This could be a major problem with Windows 10.

Microsoft is planning to have small gradual updates to add features and bug fixes along the way. Those with non-genuine copies will miss out on these.  And stealing is both morally wrong and a crime.

If your friends want a free operating system, there are several Linux-based systems they can choose from.

As for repercussions, there don’t seem to be any additional ones at the moment, but when you’re committing a crime  there’s always a chance someone will drop the hammer on you at any time.

~ Cynthia