Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS might be one of the company’s most important software releases yet. Not only is the Redmond-based giant looking to unify mobile, desktop and consoles with the help of new software, but Microsoft is also giving it away free of charge to many people who are using older versions of Windows… only the company isn’t always exactly sure who qualifies.
What’s abundantly clear is that Windows 7 and Windows 8 home users will all get Windows 10 free of charge this summer when the OS launches. But on Friday, Microsoft made it sound like Windows XP and Vista users who registered for Windows 10 Insider access – the company’s beta program for Windows – will be guaranteed free access to Windows 10 in the future.
Things quickly and silently changed over the weekend, Ars Technica points out. The company’s blog post describing the Windows Insider preview program has been updated to reflect certain changes that Windows XP and Vista users will not appreciate.
The company initially said that members of the Insider program running a preview version of the operating system would “receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated” but then changed it to “receive the Windows 10 final release build,” which is practically the latest beta version that Insiders will get to use before the OS is launched.
“It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer,” Microsoft also added to the post. The mention contradicts Microsoft’s Gabe Aul tweet on Friday. The exec said that the upgraded preview copies would be genuine, implying that Windows pirates would also be able to take advantage of this loophole.
So what does this all mean?
Ars suggests that the shift is more aimed at corporations and organizations that are going to be charged for getting their machines upgraded to Windows 10 en masse and not to individuals who have pirated versions of old Windows versions. In other words, if you have a pirated copy of Windows, don’t worry about Microsoft denying you access to free Windows 10 just yet.