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Free Windows 10 for pirates

"We believe customers over time will realise the value of properly licensing Windows"

Microsoft is preparing for the release of its new OS, Windows 10. In January it announced that it would offer it as a free upgrade to people running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1, and now it's confirmed that the offer is even open to those who downloaded those products illegally.

"We are excited to launch Windows 10 this summer. Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Window 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows," a Microsoft spokesperson told Eurogamer.

"We believe customers over time will realise the value of properly licensing Windows and we will make it easy for them to move to legitimate copies."

Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages and Microsoft has been keen to push the value of the product for gamers, with ID@Xbox expanding its remit to the service and Fable Legends, the new free-to-play outing for the franchise, appearing on Windows 10. Windows 10 also allows remote play of Xbox One games.

An easy-going approach to pirates isn't unusual for indie studios but this is an unexpected move from the PC software giant.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.