Microsoft launches Windows 10, hailing new era for PC users

Rebecca Lambert
Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert on 29 July 2015
Microsoft launches Windows 10, hailing new era for PC users

The day has finally arrived. Windows 10 is here.

According to Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, the launch marks the start of a new era for the company’s operating system (OS).

“From the beginning, Windows 10 has been unique – built with feedback from over five million fans, delivered as a service and offered as a free upgrade,” he said. “Windows 10 delivers on our more personal computing vision, with a natural, mobile and trusted experience. Along with our partners, we’re excited to deliver the best Windows ever.”

Free upgrade
From today, Windows 10 will be available to most consumers as a free download. Those already running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on their PC or tablet will be eligible to upgrade at no cost over the course of the coming year. If they have reserved an upgrade, they will be notified when Windows 10 is ready to be installed.

The new OS is also available for businesses to start deploying in their work environments. And from 1 August, organisations with volume licensing will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.

Significantly, this will be the last time that Microsoft stages a launch of this kind for its operating system. As from now on in, Windows will be continuously updated for free.

An operating system for all devices
This is also the company’s first operating system which has been built to run on almost every device – from PCs, tablets and smartphones, to all-in-ones, Surface Hubs, Xbox One, and even internet of things sensors and devices.

Among the many new features in Windows 10 includes the return of the start menu, the introduction of Cortana – Microsoft’s personal digital assistant – the new browser Microsoft Edge, and Windows Hello – a sign-on system that uses facial, iris or fingerprint recognition.

Customers will also be able to get their hands on the new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 tablets from the Windows Store, which has opened for business today and is now accepting new apps built for the operating system.

Better security for businesses
For businesses, Microsoft has said that Windows 10 will help them protect against modern cyberattacks, deliver experiences their employees will love and enable continuous innovation with a platform that keeps companies up to date with the latest technology. The company added that businesses will be able to control the frequency of their updates and select the features and functionality that are right for each group of their employees.

One billion devices
Earlier this year, Microsoft shared its goal to have one billion active Windows 10 devices within the next two to three years – a goal it hopes to achieve thanks to its free upgrade plan as well as support from third-party developers, which it is hoping to get on side with its new cross-platform-friendly tools designed to make building Windows 10 apps as simple as possible.

Speaking exclusively to OnWindows at the beginning of July, Susan Hauser, corporate vice president of the Enterprise and Partner Group at Microsoft, said: “We have more than four million users to date in our Windows Insider programme, who are testing Windows 10 features on a daily basis. Business customers, partners and industry influencers tell us Windows 10 will be of great value. For instance, Dorothy Stephenson, director of ITS from Kimberly Clark, shared this feedback with us: ‘One of the best promises of Windows 10 is getting new features on our devices every few months, and monthly security updates. The newest technology will be simply delivered to us – something we have never been able to do on our own in the past.”

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