Today Microsoft formally announced the release date for Windows 10, the latest version of their Windows operating system. Up until this point, all Microsoft had said was that they were aiming for a summer release. Today's post on the official Windows blog states the release date for Windows 10 has now been set for July 29, less than two months from now.

According to the blog post, Microsoft will be simultaniously launching Windows 10 around the globe to some 1.5 billion Windows users that currently reside in over 190 different countries, making it the widest Windows has ever been released at once. Windows 10 is Microsoft's chance to win back users who didn't embrace the changes made in Windows 8, and they have a lot riding on its success. Offering it as a free upgrade to existing Windows users will certainly help in gaining adoption.

Even with the free nature of the upgrade, the promise of a July release date for such a monumental update is quite a bold move on Microsoft's part. The less than optimal state of the current Windows 10 testing builds means that Microsoft has a great deal of work ahead of them as they squash bugs and improve the stability of Windows 10 in the two months between now and release. As a user who is keen on upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I really hope they succeed.

Finally, Microsoft has revealed a few more details about how Windows 10 distribution will work. Starting today, users can "reserve" Windows 10 on Windows 7/8.1 machines. Reserving Windows will in turn flag a machine for pre-loading, with Microsoft distributing most of Windows 10 ahead of time as to get it in to customers' hands more quickly to better balance the expected load on their server backend. According to Microsoft's FAQ, reserving/pre-loading Windows 10 only downloads it, and users will still manually confirm the installation, or for that matter users can cancel the reservation entirely. Pre-loading has not started yet, and while Microsoft doesn't say when it will start, I expect it won't be until very near July 29th.

Windows 10 Upgrade Paths
Win10 Win7 Win8.1
Windows 10 Home Windows 7 Starter Windows 8.1 (Core)
Windows 7 Home Basic Windows 8.1 (Country-Specific)
Windows 7 Home Premium Windows 8.1 w/Bing
Windows 10 Pro Windows 7 Professional Windows 8.1 Pro
Windows 7 Ultimate Windows 8.1 Pro for Students
Windows 10 Mobile N/A Windows Phone 8.1

Along with detailing the reservation process, Microsoft has also confirmed the upgrade paths for various versions of Windows. As expected, all Pro/Ultimate versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 will get upgraded to Windows 10 Pro, while all other versions of desktop/tablet Windows will get upgraded to Windows 10 Home. And of course, Windows Phone 8.1 devices will upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile.

Source: Microsoft (via re/code)

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  • Gich - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Worst case scenario: use the refresh/reset.
  • bschuler2011 - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Exactly... the simple solution is to upgrade, and then immediately reset. You will be able to choose a fresh install there. So, you'll load it twice.. but it is still a very simple process. I like it.
  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Good point Gich. My Win 7 PC loses app focus a lot, which is a big problem in a home theater / game PC, so I'll definitely be resetting and starting from scratch.
  • digiguy - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    How about those that want to move directly from Windows 8.0 to 10? (I don't like the way Onedrive works in 8.1 for instance). Will they be able to upgrade? There is conflicting information about this on the web....
  • MrSpadge - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Any particular reason you expect OneDrive to be less integrated in Win 10 than in Win 8.1? I also prefer the old, more direct way.. but I don't see them changing things back anytime soon.
  • digiguy - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Very simple reason, Microsoft themselves said that in Windows 10 it will revert to the Windows 7 way ït handed it.
  • BobSwi - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Onedrive is embedded in Win10 just like 8.1
  • digiguy - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Yes but it's handled differently, and for some aspects more similarly to the version for Windows 7. Having said this, this is just a minor point among others. The reason why I haven't moved my desktop replacement to 8.1 is also I find startisback more convenient than 8.1 start button, while it precisely does't work well with the new 8.1 start button (I also use Modermix), as I have seen in some of my 8.1 machines. I think some people who use Startisback or Classic Shell etc. cannot justify upgrading to 8.1, putting at risk the compatibility of some software (3-4 would require a paid update in my case according to MS compatibility tool), while upgrading to Windows 10 with lifetime support could be justified.
  • MartinT - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    Preordering, preloading and day-1-patches? Taking the gamification a bit too far, Microsoft? ;)
  • jimbo2779 - Monday, June 1, 2015 - link

    You are criticising them for doing the sensible thing in pre-loading? Pre-ordering allows the preloading and is free so really I can't see anything bad about that either.

    Pre-loading is done to prevent the download servers getting hammered on launch day and going down like has happened to so many services in the past on launch day.

    Day 1 patches is just a reality of software today. At least with a large company like MS you know that the patches will be coming and they will fix certain things. The patches may also break some things but MS has a relatively good track record with patches so again not really something to criticise.

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