Microsoft opened the proverbial flood gates earlier today with the launch of Windows 10, welcoming both new and existing Windows users to try out its brand new operating system.
We’ve known for a few months now that Microsoft would also be inviting users running pirated versions of Windows although their licenses would remain non-genuine. But according to some Reddit users, the upgrade path for pirates is granting fully activated copies of Windows 10 – complete with product keys to use for fresh installs.
Some Reddit users claim they’ve been able to upgrade their pirated Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 installations to Windows 10 without incident. The general consensus seems to be that if you’ve successfully activated a pirated copy of an older version of Windows, the update tool will view it as legitimate and grant full access to Windows 10.
There even seem to be some instances where the previous copy of Windows wasn’t activated prior to upgrading to Windows 10. It’s not universal, however, as others are reporting failed activations when upgrading from pirated copies. Why it’s working for some and not others is even more puzzling but could depend on how their current version of Windows was installed and / or what hacks were used to activate it.
Granting pirates a fully activated and genuine copy of Windows 10 certainly doesn’t seem to be the scenario that Microsoft intended but then again, Microsoft’s stance on the piracy upgrade path has been shaky since the company chimed in on the matter earlier this year.