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Microsoft to offer free Windows 10 upgrade to existing users

Microsoft will launch its new operating system this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages.

A Microsoft representative shows a smartphone with Windows 10 operating system at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover on March 15, 2015. (Photo: Reuters) A Microsoft representative shows a smartphone with Windows 10 operating system at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover on March 15, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Microsoft has announced that it will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 to everyone, both honest customers and pirates, when the operating system is released this summer.

"If you're already using Windows 7 or 8, you'll get a free upgrade, irrespective of whether you have paid for it or not," a Stuff.co.nz report quotes a company spokesman as saying.

"Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows," the spokesman said.

Microsoft will launch its new operating system this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. However, the actual date for the launch has not been shared yet.

The company has decided to not block pirates from receiving the upgrade as part of a move aimed at turning them into honest customers and educating users on the benefits that come with legitimate software, like easy updates and access to popular software suites like Office.

Recent studies had shown that three quarters of all PC software in China was unlicensed.

At a conference in Shenzhen, Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft's operating systems unit, indicated the move was primarily designed to get legitimate software into the country.

MORE SPACE ON OFFER
 
Apart from bringing back the "Start" menu and introducing friendlier desktop options, Windows 10 will also offer more storage space.

Microsoft in a recent blog post described Windows 10's storage requirements to have some "impressive" space-saving techniques.

Using file compression, the tech company has managed to squeeze around 1.5GB of storage for 32-bit systems and 2.6GB on 64-bit machines. The same savings and compression will also apply to phones running Windows 10 in future.

Also, Windows 10's refresh and reset options will not use a separate recovery image that's usually preinstalled by PC makers, saving about 4GB to 12 GB of storage space depending on the particular PC make and model, so a total of nearly 15GB of storage space will be freed on some machines.

LOGIN USING FACE RECOGNITION

Microsoft will do away with PIN or password requirement to unlock Windows 10 devices. Instead, Windows Hello will scan your face, iris, or fingerprint to allow you access to your own machine.

While most current machines won't be able to use Windows Hello face recognition, Microsoft will support existing fingerprint readers.

According to a report by The Verge, the new Windows 10 PCs that support the face recognition feature will ship with Intel's RealSense infrared 3D camera that will scan your face.

Microsoft says the privacy and security around the new Windows Hello feature are "enterprise-grade" and will meet requirements of organizations that adhere to strict regulations.