Microsoft wants everyone to run Windows 10.
They're so determined to make a clean break with the past, in fact, that they've made an unprecedented offer of free Windows 10 upgrades for anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. That's a huge user base, representing hundreds of millions and perhaps more than 1 billion PCs worldwide.
This is a very big deal. For the first time ever, a major Windows version upgrade will arrive via Windows Update, with no payment required and no hoops to jump through.
They doubled down on that deal last week with news that the upgrade would be available even on PCs running "non-genuine" (pirated) copies
Now, though, the company appears to be backing down from that initial, apparently too-good-to-be-true offer.
It's yet another round of disappointment in the continuing saga of Microsoft licensing. Every time it looks like the company is about to do something to make Windows licensing more sensible and less onerous, someone (usually in the legal department) gets cold feet.