There's a lot of Microsoft-related news today: Windows 10 dropping on July 29; what will and won't make the transition from Windows 7 and 8; what the pricing structure is likely to be; what the system requirements are; and what's going on with Windows 10 Build 10130. Let's dive in.
FROM OUR SITES
WINDOWS 10 DROPS JULY 29
Mark your calendars: Windows 10 will be released for PCs and tablets on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. People running Windows 7 and 8 should have started seeing an icon in the Notifications area of the Taskbar exhorting them to “Reserve your free upgrade,” “Go to Windows Update,” and “Get to Know Windows 10.” Should you be opposed to seeing this icon and its reminders, Windows Central has instructions on how to remove it.
Also, from our sites:
WHAT YOU LOSE IN WINDOWS 10
Of course, the new operating system means that some beloved (or at least used) features are going away. The biggest deal is the exit of Windows Media Center; its deletion affects users who are upgrading from Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center.
In addition, Windows 7 users who are hooked on Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts Games will have to come to grips with their deletion; they can find the games in the the "Microsoft Solitaire Collection" and "Microsoft Minesweeper."
Watching DVDs will now require separate playback software, although Gabe Aul did say a DVD playback option will be coming in the future.
And finally -- and perhaps most significantly -- Windows 10 Home users do not have the option to defer system updates. (The Pro and Enterprise editions do.) Windows 10 Home will automatically download and install system updates.
WINDOWS 10 UPGRADE
One of the pressing questions is, "Exactly how much am I going to have to pay for this operating system?"
The party line is that Windows 10 is a free upgrade to Windows 8 and Windows 7 PC users for the first year. If you want to upgrade after the first year of the initial launch of Windows 10, you’ll need to purchase the operating system at the regular cost.
If you're uncertain as to which Windows 10 upgrade you can get for free, it breaks down like this:
- If you have Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Premium or Windows 8.1, you'll be getting Windows 10 Home
- If you have Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro for Students, you'll be getting Windows 10 Pro
If you're not eligible for a free upgrade, or if you're building your own computer and installing the Windows OS on it, Windows 10 Home will cost you $119, while Windows 10 Pro will cost $199.
Speaking of low-cost transitions between Windows 8 and Windows 10, anyone who earned the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification in Windows 8 between February 15, 2015 and May 31, 2015 is eligible to take a Windows 10 exam (Exam 697) for free.
WINDOWS 10 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
- OS: Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Upgrade
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 1024x600
In addition, anyone who's planning on installing the new system should make sure their anti-virus or anti-malware subscriptions are current, and be warned: the "Get Windows 10" app will scan your computer's existing applications for compatibility. If they're not deemed compatible, you'll be asked to accept their removal from your system.
WINDOWS 10 BUILD 10130
The new build rolled out to Fast Ring members on Friday, and here's what has been added or removed:
— You can now customize your Start experience
— The icons have been refreshed again
— Microsoft Edge is more robust, with the ability to pin panes in the browser, like the Cortana pane, Favorites pane or Reading list pane
— Pressing Win key + C now launches Cortana's speech recognition
— the Mail app crashes due to a memory error, and it doesn't sync mail when running in the background
— WiFi connectivity goes in and out; if you lose it, you'll have to do a system reboot.
All right -- that's enough to kick-start the week. See you back here tomorrow.