Microsoft to offer Windows 10 as free upgrade

22 Jan 2015


Microsoft yesterday unveiled its latest Windows version 10, at a function in Redmond, Washington. Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for Windows 8.1 & 7 users. There was no Windows 9.

Windows 10Windows chief Terry Myerson officially unveiled Windows 10, citing the three main areas of focus as ''mobility of the experience, trust, and the nature of interaction.''

According to commentators, this meant reverting halfway back to Windows 7 and its control scheme. Meanwhile, developer Joe Belfiore said, "the Start menu was now a love child of the old and new menu," and notifications as also quick setting buttons piled on the right hand side of the screen.

Continuum, a hardware detection software for Microsoft's tablets and tabtops, was also the new favourite child. When the tablet was detached from the keyboard dock a little notification pops up, asking users if they wanted to switch to the touchscreen-only tablet mode. In the tablet mode, the desktop starts behaving differently.

One could swipe windows down to the taskbar to minimise them for instance.

Perhaps the best part was, after the first year of Windows 10 being on the market, PCs running Windows 8.1 or 7 and phones running 8.1 would all get a free upgrade to the new OS, as also lifetime support from Microsoft.

According to executives Windows 10 was designed to embrace the way people used computers today, offering a familiar experience as they switched back and forth from personal computers to tablets, smartphones and other gadgets such as gaming consoles or even holographic projectors.

While it was designed to let apps work in similar fashion on all those devices, Windows 10 would also come with a new web browser that would be closely integrated with Cortana, the company's voice-activated answer to Siri.

Meanwhile Microsoft would be expanding Cortana to serve as a search engine and personal assistant, capable of answering questions and responding to commands such as ''Play music'' on desktop and laptop computers, as also on mobile devices.

Further in a break from the past practice, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be released later this year as a free upgrade for anyone owning a computer or gadget that's currently running Windows 8.1 or 7, the two previous versions of the software.

Microsoft was making a big bet that Windows 10 would help in regaining the ground the company had lost to the mobile computing boom.

Windows had long been the dominating operating software for desktop and laptop computers, however that business had suffered with more people beginning using smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft tried reaching those users by emphasising touch-screen features in its last update, Windows 8, but they found the system jarring and difficult to navigate.

In hopes of winning back a larger audience, Microsoft has promised Windows 10 would provide a familiar experience to users on across devices, as also a common platform for software developers to create apps that worked on all of them.

''Windows 10 is built for a world in which there are going to be more devices on the planet than people,'' CEO Satya Nadella told reporters and industry analysts at Microsoft's headquarters.

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