Forget rumors and speculation, Microsoft is finally confirming when it’ll allow users to upgrade to its latest operating system to get the Start Menu back, add a personal assistant and get hugely upgraded versions of all its popular apps and services. The Windows 10 release date is July 29th.
Microsoft announced the Windows 10 release date on its Blogging Windows website early this morning. The reveal came in the midst of tons of speculation these last few weeks. Based on past trends, some argued that Microsoft wouldn’t begin releasing the Windows 10 Update to users at home until sometime in August or September. Others noted that a random Windows 10 store page on Newegg pointed to a Windows 10 release date of August 31st for hobbyists who want to get the operating system on new machines that they’re building that don’t have a copy of Windows to upgrade initially.
To be clear, Microsoft isn’t using clever terminology or mincing words. In the past the company has marked each point in a new version of Windows’s road to users with things like “Release to Manufacturing,” for example. This time the company is making it plain. Users at home will be able to download Windows 10 to their PCs on July 29th.
“On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favorite retailer,” Microsoft says, leaving no room for doubt that the Windows 10 release date is July 29th.
Beginning this week Windows 7 users should get notices on their PCs asking if they’d like to reserve a Windows 10 upgrade. As Windows 7 users get the Windows 10 upgrade for free, it’s a bit unclear why Microsoft is having users “reserve” a digital download. Only Windows 7 users who have automatic updates installed on their Windows PCs will get the upgrade notification and the option to reserve a copy. Definitely turn Windows 7 updates on if you haven’t already. A Windows logo should be on the far right of your taskbar. Don’t worry if you don’t see the notification immediately, they’ll gradually roll out over time.
When the update is ready Microsoft will notify users again, giving them the opportunity to schedule the Windows 10 upgrade to install when they’re ready for it and not interrupt something that they’re doing. Windows 8 users should have the Windows 8.1 update if they haven’t upgraded to that already. All Windows 8.1 users will get the Windows 10 upgrade for free as well.
There’s a lot of reasons to want Windows 10. First, Windows 10 brings relief for millions of users upset that Microsoft eliminated the Start Menu and replaced it with a fullscreen Start experience and apps that don’t allow users to easily multitask. Windows 10 lets users toggle between Tablet Mode. By default, Tablet Mode stays off if there’s no touch input, letting users run apps they download from the Windows Store directly in the Desktop alongside traditional apps like iTunes. The Start Menu is back and resizable. Users can add Live Tiles shortcuts to it if they’d like.
An easily accessible Notification area makes Windows 10 infinitely less confusing than Windows 8. The new Edge web browser behaves mostly like Google Chrome, ensuring that every single web page should work. Edge also integrates with Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant, which is built into the Taskbar in Windows 10. Xbox video game streaming is built into Windows 10. There’s even a free set of Microsoft Office apps built specifically for Windows 10 users.
Windows 10 won’t be completely free for everyone. Windows Vista users will have to pay for the upgrade, though it’s a bit unclear how much that’ll cost right now. To get the operating system to work without watermarks or extras users will require a genuine version of Windows that can be upgraded.