If you’re a current user of Windows 7 or 8, Microsoft will give you a free upgrade to Windows 10. This is the first time MS has offered a free upgrade of Windows — and the offer applies to people who’ve obtained their copy of Windows thorough, ahem, less than legitimate means.

A spokesman for the company went on record saying that all qualified machines would eligible for the upgrade, “including those with pirated copies of Windows.” He went on to say that by using a legitimate copy of Windows, the company hoped users of the pirated operating system would see the benefit in having the real article.

Microsoft’s reversal of its stance on using activation keys comes about because of research that’s shown many people don’t even realize their computers are running illegal copies of Windows. Also, about one in 10 PCs in China are running a legit version of Windows and is a major thorn in Microsoft’s revenue.

Windows 10 will incorporate biometric security features (facial recognition as well as fingerprint or iris scans), dubbed Window Hello, to replace traditional login methods. The new version of the OS is also meant to address criticisms of Windows 8 and Windows 7 that some believe stalled adoption of the previous versions, as well as to convince users of Windows XP (yes, more than a few people are still running a 13-year-old operating system) to finally upgrade. It is expected to ship in the summer.

Via The Verge; Pocket-Lint. Photo by Miguel Angel Aranda (Viper)/flickr.

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