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Windows 10 release date, specs and pricing announced


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New Windows 10 release date, specs and pricing announced

Post by Baba on Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:18 pm

Windows 10 download will be a free upgrade for existing users

  • Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users during the first year.
  • If you do not upgrade in the first year, you will be charged. There has been some confusion around pricing - but Microsoft is expected to charge a one-off license fee and NOT move to a
    subscription model.
  • Windows 10 will launch in late-2015. The Technical Preview will end on 15 April 2015.
  • Microsoft also debuted the 84in Microsoft Surface Hub and Windows Holographic. The latter will allow users to create 3D models via a custom-built HoloLens.
  • Microsoft confirmed Cortana and the Spartan web browser will be introduced across all Windows devices.
  • Microsoft's share price dropped by 1.55 per cent after the launch.

The Windows 10 Consumer Preview made its debut at Microsoft's launch event on Wednesday 21 January, where Redmond announced multiple hardware and software updates.

The company revealed that Windows 10 will be free for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year. During a Q&A after the presentation, executives declined to comment on the pricing structure after this time frame.

An 84in device - the Microsoft Surface Hub - was also revealed along with the rumoured "Spartan" web browser.

Windows-as-a-Service will allow developers to work across all Windows devices, as well as improving security.

In terms of appearance, the task bar appears streamlined on Windows 10, and the Start Menu can be made full screen with a touch. Settings has also reverted back to look like the traditional Control Panel of old.

The Charms Bar also has a new look, with users able to swipe from the right to find a notifications panel. Swiping down will close all apps - not just Metro.

When the keyboard is removed from a hybrid device, the user will be asked whether they want to enter tablet mode, after which apps switch to full screen.

Cortana - Microsoft's "personal assistant" is coming to Windows PCs and will be accessible via a search panel in the task bar. As demonstrated at the launch event, the app has the ability to learn about the user. You then have the ability to edit this information with Cortana Notebook.

Windows 10 for Phone will be optimized for use on screens that are 8 in and below.

The Action Centre on Windows Phone will sync with PCs, while the settings menu has been given a makeover with Windows 10.

There will be an integrated messaging hub for Skype, texts and other IM services on phones running on Windows 10, though the feature was not ready to demo at the event.

Universal apps include Microsoft Office, designed specifically for Windows 10 on devices including smaller tablets.

The new universal Outlook app will use the full Word engine providing complex editing capabilities, and will introduce common swipe commands such as left to delete and right to flag.

The photos app has been refreshed, and a new social network aggregation app and music app introduced.

Spartan - Microsoft's refreshed web browser - will arrive on PCs first before rolling out to Windows Phone.

Users can annotate pages with a finger or pen in 'Note Taking Mode' before sharing it or saving to OneNote. There's also a 'Reading Mode' for offline viewing with support for PDF files

Cortana is built into Spartan, and will attempt to predict and answer queries (e.g. restaurant information) straight from the browser.

The event saw Microsoft announce the 84-inch Surface Hub device, with advanced sensors, pen input support, dual cameras and a 4K display. It appears to have been specifically designed for enterprise customers, with various meeting features demonstrated at the event.

The new super-sized device comes with Skype built-in, can detect when users walk up to it and automatically activates OneNote when users pick up the stylus.

Apps will sync with devices and PCs, which makes sharing content from meetings with participants much easier.

The new Windows Holographic headset ('HoloLens') was also revealed, and will work with all Windows 10 universal apps.

The glasses have see-through lenses (and so the image will be overlayed onto the real world), spatial sound, advanced sensors and a holographic processing unit.

Users can create holograms using gestures, vision and voice commands, with the wireless headset working independently of a PC.

Consumer preview details leak

The Windows 10 Technical Preview has been available to download for some time, but details of Consumer preview may hold for users have allegedly already been leaked online, as reported by FileHippo.

The leak suggests this version of the OS will have a Cortana search bar, a new Xbox app and an updated interface.

Cortana, as the leak demonstrates, will be on the taskbar as either a search button or box. The taskbar itself also has a new design, and the Xbox app, which looks like it will provide users with news and updates, indicates that there may be cross-platform support in the near future. See images here.

The leak does not include any more insight into price or availability for the operating system, with Microsoft likely waiting until the 21 January launch to reveal this information.

Meanwhile, some users have reported sudden system restarts, reports WinBeta, forcing Microsoft's Gabriel Aul to address the problems on Twitter, though no solution has yet been found.

“We call them 'dirty shutdowns,'” he said. “We get less data on these because there is no crashdump so tougher to debut, but are fixing.”

Windows Phone 10 rumours

An alleged image of Windows 10 for Windows Phone has also appeared online (Windows Phone Italy via ubergizmo), though it comes from an untested source and so is probably best taken lightly.

The image shows support for background wallpapers on Windows Phone, showing on Live Tiles as well as in the space behind. Microsoft has not yet gone into detail about how and when the new operating system will start to appear on mobile devices, though it is thought that an official announcement could happen soon.

A new preview app, dubbed “Phone Insider,” that lets registered users get early OS updates from Microsoft has been released for Windows Phone ahead of the 21 January press event, reports The Verge, suggesting that users will soon be able to upgrade to Windows 10 on their devices.

This fits with Microsoft’s general cross-platform strategy with the new operating system, with apps compatible across smartphones, tablets and Windows PCs to match.

Windows 10 pricing

The rumours that Windows 10 will be free for existing Windows 7/8.1 users has been confirmed.

Microsoft's COO previously hinted that the software giant may charge for the OS once it goes on general release.

Kevin Turner made this admission during a Q&A at the Credit Suisse Technology Investment conference, adding that a subscription model could be a possibility for Windows 10.

"We haven’t announced the Windows 10 pricing framework yet. The one thing I can tell you that we’ve not had any conversations on is Windows 10 being a loss leader for us," Turner said.

"The business model stuff will be out — probably the early part of 2015."

Windows 10: Release date

During his time on stage, Belfiore suggested Windows 10 was very much a work in progess, hinting that the April 2015 release date mooted by some may be a little optimistic.

Further doubt was cast on a possible, rumoured April 2015 release date during a Q&A at the event, when attendees were told Windows 10 won't be shipping until "later" in 2015.

Windows 10: Specs

The company also confirmed that Windows 10 will support all of the apps currently offered via the Windows Store.

Expectations for the next-generation operating system are high, as Microsoft looks to win back PC users put off by Windows 8 (and Windows 8.1) and entice more Windows XP users to ditch the aged operating system for good.

A preliminary page hosting what appears to be download links to both the 3.16GB and the 4.10GB versions of the operating system appeared ahead of the launch event, according to Beta News, confirming its file size.

Microsoft took the wraps off the technical preview at a launch event in San Francisco on Tuesday 30 September.

During the event, it revealed the new operating system would feature the return of the traditional start button, which disappeared with Windows 8 to much dismay from users. The new start menu houses apps and an enhanced search function as well as the layout we all remember.

Continuum will make the Windows 10 interface adapt to its device and situation, acting accordingly whether it’s on a tablet, a hybrid or a desktop PC.

Multiple desktops will also be a feature of the operating system, and Microsoft set out a list of new keyboard shortcuts that would help users manage this.

A unified app store is something that has been rumoured for a while, and it will arrive with Windows 10. Developers will now be able to create one app that runs across all Windows devices.

Security updates will now be easier to manage, with consumers alerted to monthly updates and businesses able to opt-in for a faster cycle.

Multitasking is a big feature of Windows 10 that Microsoft has been keen to push, with a quadrant layout that allows users to snap up to four apps together and a smart suggestions feature for any dead screen space.

MDM will be built into the new operating system, allowing admins to manage devices both through traditional methods and via the cloud.

According to WinBeta, third-party developers will be able to create unique lock screens with Windows 10, and apps such as Data Sense and Battery Saver will come over from Windows Phone.

The Notification Center is also one of the 7,000 reported improvements, along with new security features such as multi-factor authentification, and a built-in way of separating business and personal data for encryption.

New leaked screenshots from an internal build of Windows 10, Build 9879, from ithome (via WinBeta), shows off more options added to the UI such as the choice to hide the ‘Search and Task View’ option. The build is a recent one, according to the site.

File Explorer has also been tweaked, with users now able to pin things to the Home area, and the charms bar button in modern apps shows in the “hamburger-style” rather than as three dots as before.

The site also reports that the windows animations have been made smoother for Windows 10, and that the Notification Center button has been moved from the taskbar to the tray beside the clock.


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