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Windows 10 – Pricing, Versions, Availability

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The launch of the latest Microsoft operating system – Windows 10 – is fast approaching. As we draw closer to the much-awaited date, let’s have a look at key information that has emerged so far about the new OS.

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Versions and Price

Windows 10 will be available in seven different variants, including Home, Mobile, Enterprise, Professional, IoT and Education. If you are running a genuine copy of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, you will enjoy a free upgrade to Windows 10 if you upgrade within the first year of launch.

However, you will need to shell out $119 for Windows 10 Home, if you upgrade later than stipulated or run a version older than Windows 7. Windows 10 Professional will cost $199. Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro will set you back by another $99.

Windows 10 – Key Features

Windows 10 will, unsurprisingly, bring along new exciting features. Below are some of the key features:

New Start Menu: – If you happen to be one of those that were displeased with the absence of the Start Menu in Windows 8/8.1, it will interest you to know that the latest Windows will bring back the old Start menu – in a way.

Actually, the new Start menu combines elements of Windows 8 and older version menus to give users the best of both worlds. You no longer have to endure having your screen taken over by Live Tiles when you press the Start button.

Cortana – This popular Microsoft digital assistant comes built-in on Windows 10. It can be accessed using a key or your voice. Using voice commands, Cortana can be used to search for a variety of things, ranging from files on your computer to weather information on the Net.

However, Cortana will only be available in a few countries

Microsoft Edge – The end has finally come to Internet Explorer, whose usefulness these days has been somewhat reduced to download of other web browsers. In its stead will be Microsoft Edge browser, which comes with a new rendering engine and is designed to deliver faster performance.

It boasts PDF and built-in offline reading support as well as Cortana.

Office – Windows will come with Universal Office apps, which are different from the desktop-based Microsoft Office suite. These Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps will deliver almost similar experience as a desktop suite and are optimised for touch display and diverse screen sizes.

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Continuum – This is a feature that is specifically geared towards hybrid devices. It allows Windows 10 to alter itself based on device orientation. If you use a 2-in-1 notebook, for example, you will receive a prompt asking if you want to enter a tablet mode when you fold machine back like a slate and the OS will tailor the interface accordingly.

Xbox – If you are a gaming enthusiast, Windows 10 also has something for you. An Xbox app gathers all games played on a device or PC running the operating system or an Xbox console along with your friends list to allow you to see how well your friends are doing.

Microsoft appears interested in bringing full Xbox Live experience to Windows 10 users.

Other Information

Installation of Windows 10 (both Technical/Insider Preview and final versions) will be done via a USB drive or DVD. You will need to head to Windows website, register an account and download the ISO files, which you can burn to a DVD or write to your USB flash drive using Microsoft Windows 7 USB download tool.

If you install an Insider version, you should note that it is required to continue receiving updates for it to remain genuine – even after the final stable version is released on July 29.

You will notice a Windows logo on your task bar, which you can use that reserve an upgrade slot, if you are eligible for a free upgrade.

It was previously reported in some quarters that Windows 10 comes with lifetime support. This is not exactly true. Microsoft has explained that its latest operating system will be supported with updates and new features until October 13, 2020, while extended support, such as security patches, is good through October 14, 2025.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Windows 10 – Pricing, Versions, Availability was written by Paschal Okafor. The article was last modified: May 23rd, 2016
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