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Update on Windows 10 features, price and release date

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Ever since the announcement of Microsoft Windows 10 operating system in September 2014, the buzz and anticipation among windows OS users has been high with everyone asking within his/her mind when will the computer OS giant release the much talk about Windows 10.

Terry Myerson HoloLens-on-window-10Windows 10 is the classified operating system that Microsoft claimed to be optimized for PCs, tablets and phones in unique ways. Skipping the Windows 9 name entirely, Microsoft issued a public preview of the shiny new OS later that autumn, known as Windows Technical Preview (WTP) same last year 2014.

You can try it out for yourself through Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program. You’ll need a Microsoft account to get it, and it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not the finished product, so it will be a bit rough around the edges.

Since then (and one more major reveal event in January 2015), new features have been rolling in with each preview build update. Now, with Microsoft’s huge annual developer event, Build 2015, on the horizon, we expect another deluge of Windows 10, including that elusive release date.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A complete update for Windows
  • When is it out? Definitely summer, but likely late July 2015
  • What will it cost? For Windows 7 and 8.1 users, it will be free for one year

When likely will Windows 10 officially release ?

Even though no specific date ascertain for now, we can categorically be expecting it in June/July. According to Microsoft’s EVP of Operating Systems Terry Myerson, “What we do know is that the OS will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages.”

All of this language, both official and mistaken, seems to line up with a February 2015 report from Windows blog Neowin, citing sources claiming that Windows 10 will release to manufacturers this coming June. Getting laptop, tablet and phone makers ready for the back to school season with fresh copies of the new OS well ahead of time only makes sense.

What will be the cost of Windows 10?

Myerson announced in January that Windows 10 will be free for Windows 7 and 8.1 users for its first year. While there’s no word on pricing for users still on an older version, Microsoft confirmed a while ago that the two most recent Windows versions will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 directly.

Microsoft’s chief blogger Brandon LeBlanc also confirmed that Microsoft will support those who scored a free upgrade to Windows 10 with security and system updates for the lifetime of those Windows devices.

How will i upgrade to Windows 10?

For Windows 7 and 8.1 users, getting Windows 10 will operate much in the same way that new builds are released in the WTP.

Later this year, after users agree to download the latest update from the Windows Update tool within the Control Panel, four scheduled tasks will be at the center of it all. One of which kicks off an “appraiser” app that is run to check for prerequisites for the download and upgrade that are about to follow.

Inside of a discovered folder titled just “GWX” (Get Windows 10) is where things get even more interesting. The XML file in there opens up with the “Anticipation UX” that will bring a pop-up advertisement that informs the user of the update. Following that, there is a “Reservation Page” that will presumably allow users to opt-in to Windows.

Following this is the upgrading, download in progress, download complete, ready for setup, setup in progress, and setup complete phases that will get underway by themselves.

What’s New in Window 10?

The Start menu: bigger, better, stronger

The return of the Start menu that Microsoft teased during its Build 2014 conference and detailed in full at subsequent events has been available for testing in the WTP since October 2014. Replete with a merging of the traditional Windows 7-style interface and Windows 8 Live Tiles, the new Start menu is designed to please both camps: touch and mouse users.

“They don’t have to learn any new way to drive,” Belfiore said, referring to Windows 7 users. That said, customization will also be featured throughout, first with the ability to resize the Start menu itself along with the Live Tiles within.

The Start menu features empowered search capabilities as well, able to crawl your entire machine, not to mention web results. We know now that this is through Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, but more on that later.

Cortana is warping to the PC

That’s right, Windows 10 will see the spread of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri and Google Now competitor, into Windows PCs and tablets in addition to phones. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore showed off the new PC-centric features within Cortana during its January reveal event.

Spartan (browser)!

Project Spartan, essentially the company’s replacement for Internet Explorer, was revealed during the January event, too. Belfiore detailed unique features, like the ability to mark up webpages before sharing them with others, and to comment on those same pages at the software level.

Windows Phone fans get a sneak peek

After much teasing leading up to an event during MWC 2015, a Technical Preview of Windows 10 for phones was released to just about every Lumia device under the sun.

Handled much in the same way as it is on desktop, the WTP for Windows 10 on phones has introduced alpha-phase features like the Project Spartan browser, the new Outlook and a much-improved camera app that borrows heavily from Nokia’s camera app for its pre-Windows-buyout Lumia phones. Check out all the details here.

Conclusion: This is just an overview of tips of what to expect from the loaded and much talk about Windows 10 operating system. Feel free to drop your opinion via the comment box below.

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