So what does this really mean? To be honest, no one is saying. We asked if this meant that non-genuine copies would not get security and feature patches. No one at Microsoft was able to answer that question. There are a number of things that Microsoft could do to users of pirated software; some are annoying, others are a little more aggressive. What measures Microsoft will take are still very much unknown, but it is very clear that they want people to move to Windows 10 as soon as possible.
This move also sends a message that Microsoft is tacitly allowing people to pirate Windows even if they clearly do not like this being done. Sadly the move does not cover Windows XP, which is still a large amount of the install base for Windows. This also represents a large part of the pirated software base as Windows XP was a lot easier to pirate than Windows Vista or 7. If Microsoft really wanted people to move to Windows 10 they would offer some sort of free path to get to Windows 10. We know there is not a direct upgrade path from XP, but there should be some sort of tool or utility to move files between the two along with a nice discount on the OS.
This move would also bring them more in line with other companies when it comes to perpetual licensing of operating systems. Sadly Microsoft likes its users to continue to pay for each new major upgrade to their operating system. This is great for them financially, but it has led to them losing money and numbers when a new OS is released. We hope to get some clarification as to just what “not supported” means and if Microsoft is using any unusual methods to track the number of non-genuine copies actually get updated when the OS launches.