Microsoft explains what happens to Non-Genuine upgrades to Windows 10

Since Microsoft announced that they will offer free Windows 10 upgrade to existing Windows 7, Windows 8.1 devices in the first year, there has been some confusion about what will happen to devices on non-genuine Windows. Today Terry Myerson, Microsoft in his post has clarified about situation of Genuine vs. Non-Genuine Windows upgrade.


What happens to non-Genuine Windows upgrades

To ensures Windows is licensed, installed properly and not tampered with, the customer should purchase it from OEM partners. That will also ensure Genuine Windows license. But what about non-Genuine Windows?

When we can’t verify that Windows is properly installed, licensed, and not tampered with, we create a desktop watermark to notify the user.

So, in short, when Microsoft can’t verify that Windows is properly installed, licensed and is not tampered with, in such non-Genuine cases Microsoft will put a desktop watermark informing about the same to the user. Microsoft has not posted any screenshots on how the watermark message looks or what it says. It may be similar to what we have seen in earlier such cases, where the Watermark used to be shown at bottom right corner saying ‘This is not a genuine copy of Windows’.

No free Windows 10 Upgrade for Non-Genuine Windows users

Microsoft further suggests that if a customer encounters such a watermark on a new machine, then one should immediately return the device to the retailer from where it was purchased and ask for Genuine Windows device.

Non-Genuine Windows has a high risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions. Non-Genuine Windows is not supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner.

Upgrade offer for Non-Genuine Windows

Microsoft knows that many customers are unwitting victims of piracy. With Windows 10 wants all its customers to move forward with them.

Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together. While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state. In addition, in partnership with some of our valued OEM partners, we are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state. Please stay tuned to learn more from our partners on the specifics of their offers.

For such customers running their older devices in Non-Genuine state, Microsoft in partnership with some of its OEM partners is planning a very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offer.

Microsoft has requested its users to stay tuned for more details in the future.

Posted by with Tags
Vasudev G. is a Technology Enthusiast. He is a Windows Insider MVP and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products.


  1. SimulationExams Dot Com

    What is surprising is that a trial version is labelled as non-genuine after the expiry of trial period. How could a genuine Microsoft software, downloaded from Microsoft website become non-genuine after the expiry of trial period? They should simply disable the functionality or lock the software.

  2. disqus

    I have a win 7 desktop, a tablet and a laptop with win 8.1 and I’m not planning to “upgrade” any of those to win 10.
    The win 10 preview was a disappointment; and the apps on the Microsoft store are very close to useless for me.

  3. vasudevG

    I hope you have provided the feedback to Microsoft.

  4. Michael Christopher

    I have never used a genuine Microsoft product till this beta version of win 10, and I must say it is the best since NT. I am 70 years past, love this win 10, recommending to all, but I will still get mine via torrents, as I really do not need a computer, it just keeps my mind active being bedridden most day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 + 9 =