Microsoft offers free Windows 10 to existing users

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled Windows 10, skipping Windows 9.

The much delayed version is designed to better personal computing.

Microsoft will offer Windows 10 as a service for the supported lifetime of the device. The company is also offering a free upgrade for Windows 10 to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, who upgrade in the first year.

“Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era in the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our ambition is for the 1.5 billion people who are using Windows today to fall in love with Windows 10 and for billions more to decide to make Windows home.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Windows 10 launch

Windows 10 features

Windows 10 enables people to naturally interact with technology as they interact with other people — with voice, gestures and gaze.

Cortana comes to PC and tablet

The Cortana personal digital assistant, which was launched on Windows Phone last year, will also be available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets.

Microsoft technology Cortana learns an individual’s preferences to provide recommendations, access to information and important reminders.

Microsoft Windows 10 will have a new Microsoft browser featuring the ability to annotate whether by keyboard or pen directly on the webpage and share with friends; a reading view that is distraction-free, displaying the article in a simplified layout for better reading experience for Web articles online and offline; and the integration of Cortana for finding and doing things online faster.

Windows 10 will also feature Xbox Live and the new Xbox app offering new gaming experiences to users.

Microsoft Windows 10
Xbox on Windows 10 lets gamers and developers access Xbox Live gaming network on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One. Players can capture, edit and share their gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices, connecting gamers around the world.

Games developed for the new DirectX 12 application programming interface in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability. Players will also be able to play games on their PC, streamed directly from their Xbox One consoles to their Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within their home.3

Microsoft said Office universal apps on Windows 10 deliver a touch-first experience across devices. Users will have new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.

New inking features in PowerPoint let people annotate slides in real time, and the touch-first controls in Excel make it easy to create and update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse.

Microsoft will announce the next version of the Office desktop suite in the coming months.

Other features

Continuum mode

On 2-in-1 devices, Windows 10 will move easily between keyboard and mouse and touch and tablet as it detects the transition and conveniently switches to the new mode.

New universal apps

Windows 10 will offer new experience applications for Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging and Mail & Calendar. These built-in apps come with an updated design. Users can store content through OneDrive.

Microsoft HoloLens

As the world’s first holographic computing platform, Windows 10 includes a set of APIs that enable developers to create holographic experiences in the real world. All Windows universal apps can also work as holograms — making it possible to place three-dimensional holograms in the physical world and enabling new ways to communicate, create and explore that are more personal and human.

Microsoft unveiled the most advanced holographic computer in the world. Microsoft HoloLens is the first untethered holographic computer — no wires, phones or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens features see-through holographic high-definition lenses and spatial sound so you can view and hear holograms in the world around you.

The next Technical Preview for Windows 10 on the PC will be available for free to Windows Insiders in the next week and for the first time on phones later in February.

Baburajan K
editor@gizmolead.com

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