Following months of speculations and leaks about the official release of the highly anticipated new operating system, Microsoft has finally confirmed the availability of Windows 10. The company will begin rolling out windows 10 in 190 countries and 111 languages on the 29th of July 2015.
Users with a registered version of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 can pre-register for their free Windows 10 upgrade by clicking the Windows logo that appears on the right-hand side of their taskbar.
However, it is important to know that clicking the button does not necessarily mean they will get Windows 10 on 29th July. According to Microsoft, the update will first be rolled out to the 4.4 million people who have taken part in the Windows Insider Programme.
After which Microsoft will then begin to notify people who have reserved their copy of Windows 10 in waves, slowly scaling up after 29th July.
Once a copy becomes available, Microsoft will scan the user’s computer to check it’s compatibility, and then download Windows 10 automatically.
In order to run Windows 10, you need a PC or tablet with a 1GHz processor or faster, 1GB of RAM for 32-bit machines or 2GB for 64-bit machines, 16GB hard disk space for 32-bit machines or 20GB for 64-bit machines, a DirectX 9 or later graphics card with a WDDM 1.0 driver and an 800 x 600 display or better.
If the user’s system is not yet ready to be upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will provide more details during the upgrade process. In some cases, users will need to contact an application provider or device manufacturer to learn more.
After this time, Microsoft will charge $119 (£99) for Windows 10 Home and $199 (about £131) for Windows 10 Pro.
According to Microsoft, this will be the last-ever version of the Windows operating system. Henceforth, Windows will be delivered ‘as a service’, which means updates will be delivered over the air at no additional cost for the ‘supported lifetime of the device’ – which is ten years unless customers set up custom support contracts.
Unlike with previous versions, there will not be a separate Windows Phone 10 operating system. Instead, Windows 10 will be used across all Microsoft devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones – as well as the Xbox games console and HoloLens, Microsoft’s new wireless holographic headset. Windows 10 could also enable users to manage devices and appliances across their home, but this will only come after the PC Launch.
There will be a single store to buy software from, with developers only needing to write their applications once for all devices.
A new feature called Continuum means people using Windows 10 with a mouse and keyboard will see the new system in a classic desktop mode, but switching to a tablet or smartphone will see it transform into touchscreen mode.
Microsoft has also brought back the ‘Start Menu’ which was removed in Windows 8, hoping that it would encourage wider adoption on touchscreen devices.
Microsoft hopes that the compromise between a Start menu and a tiled display will entice more people to use the operating system on tablets and mobile phones as well as desktop PCs.
Instead of the native Internet Explorer, Windows 10 will come with Microsoft Edge– A new browser.
It will also include Microsoft’s personal assistant tool Cortana – already on Windows Phone – which will pop-up with notifications and act as a search tool.
Windows 10 will be made available simultaneously in 190 countries and 111 languages. It will be free for a year for users of the previous operating systems Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1