Microsoft has finally confirmed the availability of the Windows 10 free upgrade. Customers currently running the Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating systems have a full year to take advantage of the free Windows 10 download, which will be available from 29 July. Windows 10 was first announced in April 2014 and is currently in public beta testing.
Unlike with previous versions, Windows 10 will be used across all Microsoft devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones – as well as the Xbox games console. Windows 10 could also enable users to manage devices and appliances across their home. However, Microsoft revealed that release of Windows 10 would be staggered across other devices, following the PC launch.
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 ditched in Windows 8 in favour of “tiles”, in the hope that it would encourage wider adoption on touchscreen devices.
Rather than Internet Explorer, Windows 10 will come with a new web browser called Microsoft Edge, which allows users to annotate webpages or save them to read later.
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 free for a year for users of the previous operating systems Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. The price for new users and after the year has yet to be confirmed.
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