So here is some good news; Microsoft announced the release of the consumer preview of Windows 10. But what is probably the biggest surprise of this new release of the latest Windows operating system is that it will be a free upgrade for many current Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 users. And because MAC OS X, iOS, and Android upgrades are free for its users, this is a great move by Microsoft.
So who gets the free upgrade you might be wondering? Well according to Microsoft, any users who are running Windows 7 and Windows 8, and who meet the qualifications, (hardware compatibility) will be able to upgrade to the new Windows 10 during the first year of release.
This is a brilliant move by Microsoft because it now puts them on the same level as their competitors who also offer free upgrades and free operating systems such as Linux. However, this move seems to be more strategically done to solve one of Microsoft’s biggest problems: People who are still using older operating systems like Windows XP.
If we go back and look at Windows XP, it was a major breakthrough in an operating system from Microsoft that was fast, stable, and more reliable than any of the other MS Operating systems before it. So many people are still happily using this older OS. However, the problem lies in that Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, so there are no more security updates for this operating system and that puts those users at risk of getting viruses and spreading them to other machines causing greater problems.
Therefore, by offering a free upgrade of Windows to its users, Microsoft hopes to get people using these older operating systems to ditch them and get upgraded to the latest OS.
So if you are using Windows XP still, it might be time to take a look at your computer to see if it can handle the upgrade. Microsoft has a great webpage (Link to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-xp-to-windows-7#T1=tab01) for those looking to upgrade and wanting to know if their computer hardware can handle the upgrade and how to perform the upgrade.
So looking beyond the discussion of upgrade, what is so great about Windows 10?
Windows 10 has some great new features that make it a true hybrid operating system for mobile and desktop devices. What that means is if you have a tablet that’s connected to a keyboard, and you detach that keyboard, your desktop now switches automatically into tablet mode.
Windows 10 will now also have the mobile personal assistant ‘Cortana’ which is a voice activated command and search system that can find anything on your device that you want using your voice. Windows 10 also has a brand new browser called Project Spartan which has the simplicity and design of Google Chrome and can follow users across all their devices from desktop to mobile devices.
One of the neatest new features that everyone will want to try is the holographic capability which combined with a special VR headset allows you to see holographic images, games, or designs that can be superimposed over real world images. This will probably become a very useful tool in the future, not just for games, but for many other applications as well.
And for those Windows 8 users that were not happy about losing the start menu?
Not to worry. Windows 10 brings back the start menu. Windows 10 looks to be a really great operating system and Microsoft seems to be making all the right moves to try and stay with the competition. Now time will tell if we see a Microsoft Windows that their consumers might actually pay for, but won’t need to.