Microsoft to offer free Windows 10 as update in July

01 Jun 2015


Windows 10 would be released as a free update on 28 July, according to Microsoft.

It would be the last major release of the 29-year-old operating system before Microsoft switched to a ''Windows as a service'' system, which entailed updates being rolled out when ready.

This marked a change in Microsoft's business model with the operating system being offered as a free upgrade for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 within the first year.

Each version of Windows had cost over £100, although the majority of Windows users received new versions of the operating system when buying a new computer, and not by upgrading the software themselves.

Microsoft made Windows 8.1, which restored the Start menu, as a free update to Windows 8. Windows 10 would bring back more familiar elements from Windows 7 and combine them with the modern look of Windows 8.1.

Over 4 million people had been beta testing the public preview of Windows 10 over the past couple of months, helping Microsoft fix problems before release. Recent reports showed that Windows 10 was far from ready, with multiple bugs and glitches yet to be fixed.

Setting a date for release could help accelerate the development cycle, however, it was critical that Microsoft's first public outing for Windows 10 was solid to avoid comparisons with bug-riddled Windows Vista from 2006.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer which was fast losing ground to rivals would be replaced by Edge on Windows 10, even as the operating system promised to unify the Windows ecosystem of apps and services across desktop, laptop and tablet PCs as well as smartphones.

For users on older versions of Windows, Microsoft had not said yet how upgrades would work. It was thought that those on Windows XP and Vista would need to buy new versions of the operating system, as would those building their own computers.

The software giant announced the new operating system late last year, before unveiling new features in January. It had however,  stayed quiet on when exactly it would come out, only teasing "later this year".

The new Windows would see the return of the Start bar, as also a range of other features. It was widely seen as an attempt to recover some of the damage done by Windows 8, which had been largely criticised by users.

Microsoft said in its announcement that "once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device - at no cost".

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