Final version of iconic operating system launches for free today and includes return of missing Start menu
The final version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system went on sale today, with Windows 8 users being offered a free upgrade for up to a year.
Windows 10 will be the last major iteration of the iconic operating system, according to Microsoft, who will now move to incremental system upgrades instead of releasing new versions every year.
The free upgrade shipped on July 29 and new features include the reintroduction of the Start button, which was axed for Windows 8, an all-new browser called Microsoft Edge and multiple-apps.
Microsoft claimed the OS brings the “best of Windows 7 and Windows 8” including Live Tiles, which is also found on Windows mobile operating systems, a notification sidebar, which replaces Windows 8.1’s charms bar, and integration with Xbox Live and personal voice assistant Cortana.
It is available on a range of devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, mobiles, Raspberry Pi, and Xbox One.
A statement from Microsoft said: “Today marks a significant step towards an era of more personal computing, as we release Windows 10 to the world. Windows 10 is now available across 190 countries as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 devices, as well as with new PCs and tablets.
“With Windows 10 we’ve taken an entirely unique approach to enhancing the world’s most popular operating system to help fulfil our vision of empowering people to do great things. Apart from the free upgrade, we’ve built Windows with feedback from more than five million customers and delivered it as a service, so it’s always kept up-to-date.”
The Home edition of the OS will automatically receive all non-critical updates as they are released, removing the possibility of declining or postponing updates.
Users of the Pro edition or Enterprise versions will be able to control updates as in previous versions of Windows.
The initial update is free to anyone with a registered version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 who opts in within a year. After this, Microsoft will charge $199 (£99) for Windows 10 Home and $199 (£131) for Windows 10 Pro.
Microsoft said it will soon begin informing the 4.4 million customers who had pre-ordered a copy that they can download the update. The rollout will be across 190 countries and in 111 languages overall.