Windows 10 will be available as an upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 and on new PCs starting July 29, Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday.
While many were expecting a release of the OS this summer and a more specific date was let slip by AMD’s president in an earnings call, Microsoft has now given its official word of when its major platform will be rolled out. In fact if you have Windows 8 installed and you’re logged in to a user account, you may already see a notification available to you to reserve your upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
Microsoft has long been advertising that its newest OS will be offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users for one year after its release. For those who aren’t users of those operating systems, Microsoft still hasn’t released any pricing information.
At Build, Microsoft’s annual developer conference that was held at the end of April, Microsoft executives started talking about Windows as a service when referring to Windows 10 and its future. Similar to how Office 365 represents a shift away from installing a box of software every three years and instead using a subscription to software that’s always up to date, Windows 10 will be patched and upgraded on an ongoing basis. Whether that means it will be sold based on a subscription model is not yet known.
But those who do complete the free upgrade will be covered, according to Microsoft.
“Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost,” the company provided in a statement.
Terry Myerson, executive vice president of operating systems at Microsoft, covers some of the major features that will be most noticeable to users in a blog post on Microsoft.com:
- Cortana, the world’s first truly personal digital assistant helps you get things done. Cortana learns your preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information, and important reminders. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing. And the Cortana experience works not just on your PC, but can notify and help you on your smartphone too.
- Microsoft Edge, is an all-new browser designed to get things done online in new ways, with built-in commenting on the web – via typing orinking— sharing comments, and a reading view that makes readingweb sitesmuch faster and easier. With Cortana integrated, Microsoft Edge offers quick results and content based on your interests and preferences. Fast, streamlined and personal, you can focus on just the content that matters to you and actively engage with the web.
- Office on Windows: In addition to the Office 2016 full featured desktop suite, Windows 10 users will be able to experience new universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, all available separately. These offer a consistent, touch-first experience across a range of devices to increase you productivity. Designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, you can easily create and edit Word documents, and deliver PowerPoint presentations while annotating on the fly. With new touch-first controls inExcelyou can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. You will also be able to enjoy new versions of OneNote and Outlook, which are included with Windows 10 at no additional cost.
- Xbox Live and the integrated Xbox App bring new game experiences to Windows 10. Xbox on Windows 10 brings the expansive Xbox Live gaming network to both Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Communicate with your friends on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One – while playing any PC game. You can capture, edit and share your greatest gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices. You can play games on your PC, streamed directly from your Xbox One console to your Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within your home. Games developed for DirectX 12 in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed,efficiencyand graphics capability.
- New Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People, Mail & Calendar apps have updated designs that look and feel familiar from app to app and device to device. You can start something on one device and continue it on another since your content is stored on and synched through OneDrive.