There’s under a month left until Microsoft wraps up development on its next operating system and makes it available to users around the world. It’s for that reason that Microsoft is sharing its final Windows 10 release details this week.
In a post on the Blogging Windows website, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson reveals what users need to know ahead of the Windows 10 release. Mainly he goes into a lot of detail about how Microsoft will manage the massive amount of people all trying to upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 release day will mark the first time Microsoft has made a new version of Windows available for users to upgrade to absolutely free, hence the need for a measured rollout.
The Windows 10 release will happen in phases, according to Myerson. It turns out July 29th is when members of the free Windows Insider Program will get final upgrades to Windows 10. Anyone who participated in the program will get a notification on their PC, letting them know its ready to upgrade to the final release. As Windows Insiders have been testing Windows 10 for sometime, the upgrade isn’t likely to come as a shock.
Myerson says that Microsoft will “listen, learn and update the experience,” reacting to any issues with Windows 10 upgrades as fast as it can.
Roughly a month ago Microsoft began notifying Windows 7 users and Windows 8 users that Windows 10 was coming and that they could reserve their copy absolutely free. At the time, some thought it might have been malware and closed the window. Other’s opted to not reserve their copy. If Windows Insiders are upgraded fine, Microsoft will slowly start honoring those Windows 10 release reservations. Only after reservations have been completed will those who haven’t reserved get their free upgrade, it seems.
Windows 10’s update system will flag any apps or programs that are installed and not compatible. In addition, it’ll provide contact information for software vendors that have products not able to run on Windows 10. Going forward, Microsoft will keep working on compatibility on its end, taking away issues to not upgrade to Windows 10 on a regular basis.
Windows 7 and Windows 8 users are the only ones getting Windows 10 free of charge. Some Windows Vista and Windows XP users will need to purchase a new PC to get the upgrade. For those users and anyone else in the market for a new system Microsoft is rolling out an upgrade program not-unlike what it has done in the past. Retail stores like Best Buy, Staples and Wal-Mart will get stickers that they can place on a PC to let buyers know that it’s compatible with Windows 10. Workers in some stores will be able to upgrade users to Windows 10 themselves, according to Microsoft’s blog post.
Upgrading to Windows 10 won’t unlock some features. For example, Microsoft’s new Windows Hello login system relies on hardware that even most Windows 8 PCs won’t have. Windows Hello lets you login to your PC and some apps with your finger or just your face – no password needed.
Microsoft says that it is preparing to hand over final copies of Windows 10 to hardware partners soon. PC maker Lenovo has already confirmed it has plans to launch PCs built specifically for Windows 10 in August. Presumably, we’ll here about more new PCs running Windows 10 out-of-the-box on Windows 10 release day.
Windows 10 includes tons of new features designed to right the wrongs of Windows 8 and improve on what the operating system got right. The Start Screen now turns into a Start Menu replacement when you have only a mouse and keyboard as input methods. All apps downloaded from the Windows Store run in the desktop. Disconnect the keyboard and Tablet Mode turns on. Tablet Mode hides unnecessary buttons, transforms the Start Menu back into the Start Screen and makes every app full screen again.