Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced Windows 10 will be free of charge for some users. But who are they? What’s new? And what happened to Windows 9?
Here are nine things we think you need to know about Windows 10…
1. Who receives a free upgrade?
Windows 7 and 8 and Windows Phone users will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 for one year after its release.
2. When is it due to be released?
3. What’s new?
Quite a lot. The same operating system will be brought to all devices: PCs; tablets; mobile phones; and the Xbox.
Cortana – Microsoft’s voice-controlled assistant – will be available on PCs.
Internet Explorer will be replaced by a browser codenamed ‘Spartan’. This will include a special ‘noting mode’, enabling users to write over, or make notes, on a Web page, then share it with other people.
4. Anything else?
Microsoft also unveiled a ‘HoloLens headset’; reality see-through lenses, which are expected to allow users to see 3D renderings of computer images.
However, this is unlikely to be ready for release anytime soon, experts say.
5. But isn’t HoloLens a rehash of Google Glass?
No, according to Microsoft. It is hoped it will present a major technological leap forward. The demo suggested those wearing the HoloLens would see computer-generated images appear in the world around them.
NASA is reportedly working with the prototype, which may be used to control Mars Rovers as early as July 2015.
6. Why is the Windows 10 upgrade free?
It’s likely a strategy to put Windows on as many devices as possible and an effort to retain customers in a competitive, mobile-oriented era. Windows 8 was a paid update and was relatively slow to catch on.
7. What’s the feeling on the market?
Investors don’t seem impressed. Shares on the Nasdaq fell one percent to $45.91 shortly after the announcement. However, industry and Wall Street analysts have described the move as ‘inevitable’.
8. Financial impact on Microsoft:
Microsoft is expected to make a statement on the financial effects at the end of January, when it reports quarterly earnings.
9. What happened to Windows 9?
Marketing. Many users found Windows 8 confusing. As such, Microsoft completely bypassed a version 9, in an effort to create some distance between 8 and the new Windows 10.