On July 29, 2015, Microsoft will release Windows 10. For free. Well, there is a catch. You must currently be running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and have to upgrade within the next year. However, this alone is a huge change of course for Microsoft, who typically charges around $120 for their latest operating system. Announced in January, Windows 10 will bring the features everyone loved in Windows 7 with the power and performance of Windows 8.1.
In an article from The Verge, Microsoft’s developer evangelist Jerry Nixon said “Right now, we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10.”
What does that mean? Well, Microsoft is transitioning from Windows as a software to Windows as a service. Instead of have new major releases of the Windows OS, Microsoft intends to just keep updating Windows 10.
Here is what to expect with Windows 10:
The Start Menu
Windows 10 makes up for one of Windows 8’s greatest flaws by bringing back the “start” menu to its rightful position in the lower left-hand corner of the desktop. But, rather than focusing on desktop apps alone, the Windows 10 start menu focuses on both the metro start screen’s functionality, as well as the live tile apps from Windows 8.
Windows’ version of Siri and Google Now, makes its transition from mobile to desktop. Now PC users are able to speak to their computer if they need something searched or if they just want to be told a joke.
Action Center Notifications
Notifications are one of the coolest features of modern operating systems, with popups reminding you of all sorts of useful information and Windows 10 has them, too.
As Cortana becomes more tightly integrated into Windows 10, expect to see the Action Center become a repository of useful information.
Xbox players will now be able to stream their Xbox games directly to their Desktop PC. This will allow gamers to record gameplay and share it directly with their friend via Social Media or YouTube.
Windows 10 comes with built-in apps like Maps, Photos, Music, Video, and Mail and Calendar. These apps use OneDrive to back up information and sync seamlessly across Windows devices, so you’re never far from what you need.
Current users of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can reserve their copy of Windows 10 by going to windows.com.