Microsoft on Monday announced that Windows 10 would hit the market on July 29, nearly three years after the company launched Windows 8. Windows 10 will initially be available for laptops and PCs and Microsoft hasn't yet announced when smartphones and tablets will get the upgrade. The company hasn't yet announced pricing details for Windows 10, although the final retail price has been tipped.
(Also see: Windows 10 on Your Phone: What We Know So Far)
In a blog post, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson wrote, "Today, I'm excited to share the availability date for Windows 10. In fact, I thought I'd let Cortana, the world's most personal digital assistant, share the news. You can ask Cortana for the answer!" He also wrote that four million people have been testing Windows 10 through Microsoft's Windows Insider programme. Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to all users of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1, Microsoft notes.
To get Windows 10 on launch day, Microsoft suggests that you reserve a copy. The company says the reservation process, for both upgrades and purchases, is simple. An update notification will pop up in the system tray of eligible computers and user can click the notification to complete the reservation process. Alternatively users can reserve a copy by visiting this page. Should you purchase a PC or laptop running Windows 8.1 between now and July 29, the device will be eligible for a free update to Windows 10. Microsoft said many retail stores will be able to update these computers to Windows 10 for free.
Microsoft has said it has been working to ensure that all your apps from previous versions of Windows work smoothly on Windows 10. Myerson wrote, "The Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications. We are hard at work to make this upgrade process a great experience."
With Windows 10 Microsoft has tried to create on operating system that works across devices. It brings back the classic start menu last seen in Windows 7 and adds a host of new features such as integration with Cortana, Microsoft's voice assistant software. Internet Explorer, the default browser that shipped with Windows, has been replaced by Microsoft Edge in Windows 10. Another interesting feature is Windows Continuum, which "enables today's best laptops and 2-in-1 devices to elegantly transform from one form factor to the other, enabling smooth transitions of your tablet into a PC, and back"