Windows 10 Will Be Available July 29

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Microsoft kicked off June with news that Windows 10 will ship on July 29, just a little under two months from now. The next big update for MS is designed as a unifying platform that will offer continuity across mobile, desktop, tablets and even the Xbox One gaming console, and it will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users for the first year. To help ensure easy updates (and probably as a way to try to get a large installed base of Windows 10 users right away), Microsoft is also using a “reservation” system that allows users to sign up to be notified when the update is available, and to schedule it to install when you want.

A big new feature addition for Windows 10 is Cortana, so here’s a message the company prepared from its virtual assistant ant announcing the news.

What else do you get? Well I’m glad you asked – here’s a quick look at the highlights:

  • Microsoft Edge: The successor to Internet Explorer, designed around minimalism and collaboration tools, plus with Cortana integration.
  • Word, Excel and PowerPoint built in.
  • Xbox Live and Xbox app for doing things like recording gameplay, interacting with your Xbox friends and also streaming Xbox games to the desktop.
  • Windows Continuum, which lets you smoothly jump between multiple Windows 10 devices, and which lets you use your phones like a PC with external input accessories.
  • Windows Hello, a new login method that uses face, iris or fingerprint recognition to log you in without a password, depending on hardware support.

Microsoft is doing everything it can to make the transition smooth, like ensuring it’ll work with your existing applications. Windows 8 was sort of an awkward generation, so here’s hoping the skipped numeral results in something that suits everyone’s needs.