Windows 10 Is Now Available As A Free Update

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Microsoft hails ‘new era’ as long-awaited Windows 10 hits PCs

Windows 10 is now available as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users as the company seeks to reach one billion devices with its latest operating system in a “new era” for the company.

Users who have ‘reserved’ their upgrade should receive a notification alerting them when Windows 10 is ready to download, while others will be able to get the update on a rolling basis as Microsoft attempts to deal with anticipated demand.

Microsoft promises the software will work equally well on PCs, tablets, smartphones and a range of other connected devices, hoping to rectify the faults that have prevented consumers and businesses from migrating to Windows 8 and allow it to sell its services, like Office 365 and OneDrive, to as many people as possible.

A ‘new era’ for Windows

Windows 10 screen“A new era of Windows starts today. From the beginning, Windows 10 has been unique — built with feedback from over 5 million fans, delivered as a service and offered as a free upgrade, said Terry Myerson, head of Windows and devices at Microsoft. “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, which will empower people and organisations around the world to do great things.”

Windows 10: Five Features You’re Going To Love

Among the new features are Cortana integration, the new Microsoft Edge browser and biometric security, while Windows 10 will adapt to whatever type of system it is running on through Continuum. The release also heralds the return of the much-missed Start Menu.

Enterprises can install the update from August 1, with Microsoft claiming Windows 10 is the most secure version ever thanks to feedback from Windows Insiders who have been testing the platform for a number of months.

Will You Be Upgrading To Windows 10?

  • Yes, immediately (52%)
  • Yes, in the future (23%)
  • Undecided (10%)
  • No (8%)
  • I use another operating system (5%)
  • Don't Know (3%)

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“Thank you to our Windows Insiders for helping us build Windows 10,” added Myerson. “If you’re a Windows Insider and running build 10240 – you already have the Windows 10 we are making available today. All you need to do is check Windows Update and make sure you have all the final updates.”

Whereas Windows 8 was pitched as the saviour of the PC market and Microsoft’s attempt to secure a share of the tablet market, analysts say Windows 10 is about reaching as many devices as possible, providing itself and developers with a huge user base to target, especially in the Internet of Things.

IoT futurewindows 10 demo

“Microsoft is pinning its future hopes on Windows 10 too, but this isn’t about recapturing the important mobile operating systems market (it’s pretty much conceded that to Apple and Google), it’s about gaining a strong foothold in the next multi-billion dollar market: the ‘Internet of Things’,” said Richard Edwards, analyst at Ovum. “Windows 10 will underpin Microsoft’s foray into the Internet of Things (IoT) by providing an operating system and ancillary services for “things” that do not resemble traditional computing devices.

“Microsoft was caught wrong-footed when Google harnessed the Linux kernel to produce the Android operating system that now dominates the smartphone market, but this time, with cloud-savvy Nadella at the helm, Microsoft is ready for action.

“To the casual observer, it might seem that the high-tech industry thrives on newness and innovation, and yet familiarity and evolution are so important when it comes to engaging with the mainstream market that creates winners and losers. For Microsoft, Windows 10 – a product that is new yet familiar – is the transit vehicle from the old-world of connected PCs to the new-world of connected things, so market acceptance is of huge importance to the company’s current initiatives and its future prospects.”

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Microsoft Launches Windows 10

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