Windows 10 download will be a free upgrade for existing users
Here are some details:
- Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users during the first year.
- If you do not upgrade in the first year, you will be charged. There has been some confusion around pricing – but Microsoft is expected to charge a one-off license fee and NOT move to a subscription model.
- Windows 10 will launch in late-2015. The Technical Preview will end on 15 April 2015.
- Microsoft also debuted the 84in Microsoft Surface Hub and Windows Holographic. The latter will allow users to create 3D models via a custom-built HoloLens.
- Microsoft confirmed Cortana and the Spartan web browser will be introduced across all Windows devices.
- Microsoft’s share price dropped by 1.55 per cent after the launch.
The Windows 10 Consumer Preview made its debut at Microsoft’s launch event on Wednesday 21 January, where Redmond announced multiple hardware and software updates.
The company revealed that Windows 10 will be free for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year. During a Q&A after the presentation, executives declined to comment on the pricing structure after this time frame.
An 84-in device – the Microsoft Surface Hub – was also revealed along with the rumoured “Spartan” web browser.
Windows-as-a-Service will allow developers to work across all Windows devices, as well as improving security.
In terms of appearance, the task bar appears streamlined on Windows 10, and the Start Menu can be made full screen with a touch. Settings has also reverted back to look like the traditional Control Panel of old.
The Charms Bar also has a new look, with users able to swipe from the right to find a notifications panel. Swiping down will close all apps – not just Metro.
When the keyboard is removed from a hybrid device, the user will be asked whether they want to enter tablet mode, after which apps switch to full screen.
Cortana – Microsoft’s “personal assistant” is coming to Windows PCs and will be accessible via a search panel in the task bar. As demonstrated at the launch event, the app has the ability to learn about the user. You then have the ability to edit this information with Cortana Notebook.