Microsoft confirmed today that Windows 10 will launch this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Frustratingly, though, the company isn’t dishing an actual launch date for its hotly-anticipated new platform, but an interesting new nugget of information was let out today.
The company previously voiced its intention to offer free upgrades to “millions” of customers on Windows 7 or earlier, and China — a market synonymous with piracy — is a key focus of that initiative. Speaking at an event in Shenzhen, China, Terry Myerson — Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems — revealed that the Redmond firm will work with three of China’s most prominent software companies — Lenovo, Tencent and Qihoo 360 — to offer free upgrades to their collective customer base. That doubtless spans a huge number of potential users.
But, there’s more, Microsoft is also working Xiaomi — yes, the fast-growing Android phone company — in a partnership that will give selected owners of its Mi 4 the chance to “help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year.”
Xiaomi has a strong community of users — the company pushes software updates weekly and actively solicits user feedback — and Microsoft is tapping into that to seed a Windows 10 Technical Preview for initial feedback.
A Xiaomi spokesperson told us that this is “an experimental program entirely led by Microsoft,” and we are trying to ascertain more information about the nature of this partnership. It sucks, but Microsoft and Xiaomi are being vague on this alliance, which, though thrown into today’s announcement as a low-key tidbit, could provide a fascinating indication of the future plans for Windows 10 on mobile.