It has been a forgone conclusion that Microsoft would be dropping their new operating system, Windows 10, during the summer. Earlier in May, it was leaked that the OS would come out on July 29th. Microsoft, on Monday, made it official – it’s coming out on July 29th. It will be released globally, for PC and tablets only, on that date to anyone that is running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
You have one year from July 29 to get your free upgrade to Windows 10, after which Microsoft will “continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device—at no cost.” No one is really sure what that means but that is probably jargon for “we will support it until we move on from Windows 10.”
Although, if you are waiting for the Windows 10 Mobile version, you will have to wait longer as there is no firm date for that release. This should not be a surprise for anyone, as Apple did the same thing in reverse order when their dropped their new OS by giving it to iPhones and iPads first then moving it to Macs.
For those of you that do not think you will upgrade for free, you will have to pay for the eventually upgrade, which will run you $119 for the basic that you will receive for free. The Pro version will cost you $199 (in case you do not want the free version) and upgrading from Home to Pro will run you $99. Keep in mind that many people will need the Home version, but if you like creating stuff on your PC then by all means get the Pro out the gate, it will be cheaper.
Now, the bad news: Microsoft had been a bit quiet about all the things that will change when you go to Windows 10. Software losses were inevitable. Windows Media Center, the card game Hearts and Windows 7’s desktop gadgets. If you are still behind the 8-ball and use floppy disks: one, you need to get with the game and (two) you will need to install new drivers.
As usual, Microsoft says that you will have to have a “separate playback software” in case you like to watch DVDs on your computer. Really? This is 2015 and Microsoft still has issues with that. Microsoft manager Gabriel Aul said, via Twitter, that a DVD option for Windows ten will be coming “later this year.
The Verge explained some limitations to some of the cool features that Microsoft has been talking about. Cortana, that they won’t shut up about, will only be available in the US, UK, China, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain at launch. Remember when they said that Windows Hello that would support biometric passwords? Well, you are going to need an infrared camera for facial recognition or a supported fingerprint reader. As well as Xbox Music and Xbox Video streaming apps will be held back by the usual region-based licenses.
Now, for the really bad news: Microsoft’s Windows Update will no longer give you the option to defer or avoid Updates. Home users will have it automatically updated as soon as they become available. Pro and Enterprise users will be able to defer the updates but they will need to be downloaded at some point.
Lastly, you will know if you aging computer will be able to handle the new operating system. Granted, the specifications are rather low, but you get the idea. In order to download Windows 10 to your tablet or PC, you will need a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a display resolution of 1024 x 600. If you are running a 64-bit version, they are a bit higher. You can check out the full specs here.