Microsoft has announced that the next version of its Windows operating system, Windows 10, will be made available at the end of next month. Existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users can reserve a free upgrade to the platform now.
Microsoft has made a concerted effort to distance Windows 10 from Windows 8 and 8.1, even going so far as to skip the Windows 9 moniker. We already know that there a number of unpopular features that won't be carried across to the new version. Instead, the company is promising users a "vision of more personal computing," with a focus on security, compatibility across devices and natural interaction.
Windows 10 is said to be the most secure Windows platform ever. It will run on Windows PCs, tablets and phones, as well as Windows for the Internet of Things devices, Microsoft Surface Hub, Xbox One and Microsoft HoloLens. Users will be able to interact with the new operating system via speech, touch and holograms, among other means.
Microsoft says the platform has been developed based on the feedback and testing of over four million Windows Insiders. Its features will include a returning Start Menu with live tiles, quicker start-up and resume processes and the baked-in Cortana digital assistant, which learns about a user to provide recommendations, fast answers to questions and reminders.
Internet Explorer has been ditched in favor of a new browser called Microsoft Edge, which will allow users to annotate the web and share their notes with others. There is a new version of Microsoft Office too that is built to work across devices and has a focus on fast viewing and editing of documents.
Elsewhere, Microsoft is promising new photos, videos, music, maps, people, mail and calendar apps. Xbox Live and the integrated Xbox App will allow users to stream games from an Xbox One to play on a Windows 10 tablet or PC. Other features will include Windows Continuum that allows 2-in-1 devices to switch between touch and desktop modes, biometric authentication and the Windows Store for installing new applications.
The Windows website explains how you can reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade, with the first rollouts being to PCs and tablets.
The video below is an introductory overview of Windows 10 and its features.