Retailers Set to Lose Both Revenue + Customers With This Weeks Free Win 10 Roll Out
“We will also lose the hype associated with the release of a new Windows OS. In the past this drove traffic into retail stores” said an Officeworks executive.
Microsoft who is looking to rake in billions in subscription fees from their free strategy will begin rolling out Windows 10 in 190 countries and 111 languages on 29 July.
Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users can pre-register for their free Windows 10 upgrade by clicking the Windows logo that will have appeared on the right-hand side of their taskbar. However, clicking the button does not necessarily mean they will get Windows 10 on 29 July.
The update will first be rolled out to the 4.4 million people who have taken part in the Windows Insider programme.
Microsoft will then begin notifying people who have reserved their copy of Windows 10 in waves, slowly scaling up after 29 July.
Once a copy becomes available, Microsoft will scan the user’s computer to check it is compatible, and then download Windows 10 automatically.
In order to run Windows 10, you need a PC or tablet with a 1GHz processor or faster, 1GB of RAM for 32-bit machines or 2GB for 64-bit machines, 16GB hard disk space for 32-bit machines or 20GB for 64-bit machines, a DirectX 9 or later graphics card with a WDDM 1.0 driver and an 800 x 600 display or better.
If the user’s system is not yet ready to be upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will provide more details during the upgrade process. In some cases, users will need to contact an application provider or device manufacturer to learn more.
The update is free to anyone with a registered version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 who opts in within a year. Anyone who is still on Windows 8 will have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 to qualify for the free upgrade.
After this time, Microsoft will charge for Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.
Anyone upgrading from an older version of Windows, buying a stand-alone copy, or buying a new computer with Windows 10 pre-installed on it, will also have to pay.
Microsoft has now confirmed that this will be the last-ever version of the Windows operating system. From now on, Windows will be delivered “as a service”, which means updates will be delivered over the air at no additional cost for the “supported lifetime of the device” – which is ten years unless customers set up custom support contracts.
Unlike with previous versions, there will not be a separate Windows Phone 10 operating system. Instead, Windows 10 will be used across all Microsoft devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones – as well as the Xbox games console and HoloLens, Microsoft’s new wireless holographic headset. Windows 10 could also enable users to manage devices and appliances across their home.
Microsoft revealed at their recent Build developer conference that the release of Windows 10 would be staggered across other devices, meaning that Windows 10 will come to smartphones after the PC launch. There will be a single store to buy software from, with developers only needing to write their applications once for all devices.
A new feature called Continuum means people using Windows 10 with a mouse and keyboard will see the new system in a classic desktop mode, but switching to a tablet or smartphone will see it transform into touchscreen mode.
Microsoft has also brought back the Start Menu, which was ditched in Windows 8 in favour of “tiles”, in the hope that it would encourage wider adoption on touchscreen devices.
However, the resizable tiles still feature in Windows 10, appearing when users open the Start Menu and signalling new emails and social media messages as well as weather information.
Microsoft hopes that the compromise between a Start menu and a tiled display will entice more people to use the operating system on tablets and mobile phones as well as desktop PCs.
The company has not yet revealed what the final operating system will look like on a smartphone, but leaked screen shots of build 10070 suggest that the “Live Tiles” will be closer together with narrow borders between them.
Rather than Internet Explorer, Windows 10 will come with a new web browser called Microsoft Edge, which allows users to annotate webpages or save them to read later.
It will also include Microsoft’s personal assistant tool Cortana – already on Windows Phone – which will pop-up with notifications and act as a search tool.