Confusing and nebulous describe Microsoft plans to let software pirates upgrade free to Windows 10. In the three days or so since the policy became public knowledge, there are more questions than answers. This is certain: Even hinting at such a liberal policy is a dramatic turnabout for the company under CEO Satya Nadella compared to predecessor Steve Ballmer.
By measure of the Ballmer worldview, letting pirates upgrade robs revenue from the platform’s cradle, hands them sacred possessions at the door, and gives them the house keys—oh, and asks them to lock up after taking the tellie, silver, and jewelry. I contend: The strategy is brilliant and too long coming, assuming nothing changes before Windows 10’s summer release or Microsoft clarifies licensing rules to mean something different. Without even stressing a single synapse I can conjure up more good reasons for the upgrade plan than the fingers on my hands. But I’ll keep the list a bit shorter for this post.