Windows 10: release date, price, news and features

Update: It’s official: Windows 10 is coming on July 29 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users (for one year). Microsoft’s latest OS will be available to pre-order in the coming weeks when it launches in 190 different markets around the world.

With Windows 8 and today Windows 8.1, Microsoft tried – not entirely successfully – to deliver an operating system (OS) that could handle the needs of not only number-crunching workstations and high-end gaming rigs, but touch-controlled systems from all-in-one PCs for the family and thin-and-light notebooks down to slender tablets.

When Microsoft pulled the curtain back on Windows 10 back in September of 2014, it was clear that, with an operating system optimized for PCs, tablets and phones in unique ways, the Redmond, Wash.-based firm was onto something. Skipping the Windows 9 name entirely, Microsoft issued a public preview of the shiny new OS later that autumn, known as Windows Technical Preview (WTP).

You can try it out for yourself through Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program (nearly four million have, as of May 2015). You’ll need a Microsoft account to get it, and it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not the finished product, so it will be a bit rough around the edges.

Since then (and one more major reveal event in January 2015), new features have been rolling in with each preview build update. Now, with Microsoft’s huge annual developer event, Build 2015, behind us, we were served up a bunch of Windows 10 news that you can dig through below. But before that, here are the most important bits of info from the past week:

In a recent leak through Chinese news site ITHome, WTP preview build #10123 will introduce new features to Microsoft Edge, the firm’s new web browser formerly known as Project Spartan. The new features include private browsing, auto-filling usernames and passwords in forms and a top sites view that displays content from the websites that users frequent most.

Also in the past week, Microsoft clarified that, while copies of Windows 7 and 8.1 that are not genuine will have to option to upgrade when the time comes, it will not come for free for those users. However, the company warned of the pitfalls of non-genuine copies of the OS.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A complete update for Windows
  • When is it out? July 29
  • What will it cost? For Windows 7 and 8.1 users, it will be free for one year

The highlights from Build 2015

While we didn’t get that coveted Windows 10 release date or a look at the first ever Windows 10 devices, Microsoft did offer quite a few meaty nuggets of info during its Build 2015 conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif.

On Day Two of the conference, Microsoft didn’t have as much big news to offer up. It’s not necessarily surprising, given the developer bent of the show, but nevertheless deflating. That said, a few interesting developments did come out of the second keynote.

For starters, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now available on the Raspberry Pi 2 micro computer and Intel Minnowboard Max. Some specific tailoring had to be done to fit the operating system on these tiny machines, resulting in this version of OS earning the name Windows 10 IoT Core.