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Microsoft to pirates: you're bad, but you'll still get Windows 7 updates

If someone were to ask you what Microsoft's biggest competition is on the operating system front is, what would your guess be?

OSX? No. Linux? Sorry, but no. Truth is, it's unlicensed Windows.

So when you're developing a new operating system with a wide array of modern features, it's probably best to take a hard line against piracy, right? Maybe not.

Paul Cooke, Microsoft's director of Windows Client Enterprise Security, has told Maximum PC that all Windows 7 users - even those running pirate copies - will receive security updates. Why would Microsoft want to do that?

Regardless of the financial losses associated with Windows piracy, Microsoft wants to protect their reputation. That can be tough, especially when things like the Conficker outbreak get blamed on them. Don't forget, there was a Windows Update patch for that as far back as October 2008 - but millions of pirate XP installs may not have had the patch installed.

And even though it may be the end user's fault for not keeping their OS up to date, running quality antivirus software, or just paying attention to what's going on, the blame often winds up being shipped directly to Redmond. A more secure global Windows install base would also be good news for the computing world as a whole, and maybe Microsoft will get a little credit (and publicity) for that.

Of course, this doesn't mean Microsoft is going to ignore rogue Windows 7 installs.

Just because they want your system fully patched doesn't mean they won't flip the Starter switch and limit your unlicensed system to three programs at once...

[ via Maximum PC]

Tags: illegal, osupdates, patch, piracy, pirate, security, update, windows, windows-7, windows-update