It's hard to imagine, but there are people out there that haven't experienced Windows 10 yet through the Windows Insider program. Microsoft hopes, of course, that there's been enough grassroots chatter that even the common PC user will want to jump on board come July 29, when the Windows 10 upgrade officially releases.
The launch of Windows 10 is not the normal Microsoft OS launches of yesteryear. There won't be huge launch parties filled with celebrities and Start-Me-Up theme songs. Instead, the company is planning smaller, lower-key, and more humble celebrations.
As part of the lower-key launch, Microsoft is investing in an "Upgrading Your World" campaign that provides help for consumers wanting to upgrade and gives nod to non-profits. If you want to upgrade your own PC on July 29, there will be experts on hand in Microsoft Stores, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples locations to offer upgrade help. Additionally, just by visiting one of these retailers you can belly-up to an "experience station" to try out Windows 10 to see if it's worth all the hubbub.
Microsoft originally stated that no (zero) new Windows 10 PCs would be available at launch, but they've since backtracked a bit after Dell promised this week that it would absolutely start shipping new PCs with Windows 10 pre-installed on July 29. Additionally, while at WPC 2015 this week, I've learned from other companies like HP, Lenovo, and Acer that they will also be ready with Windows 10 capable PCs and devices.
Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with the majority of older equipment, but for some, a new OS with this sort of modern promise and rolling feature additions might mean it's time to upgrade the entire experience. Of course, that's what retailers hope by supplying upgrade help. Just try walking into a Best Buy and walking out without something new.
Additionally, as part of this upgrade offer, all 110 Microsoft stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico will be holding launch events. Some of the locations will host special, celebrity guests. Here's the celebrity schedule (wishing I was in Vegas on the 29th):
- 7/29: Bellevue, Washington – Bellevue Square – World Cup Champion Megan Rapinoe
- 7/29: Boston, Massachusetts – The Shops at Prudential Center – NHL Selke Trophy Winner Patrice Bergeron
- 7/29: Dallas, Texas – NorthPark Center – NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders
- 7/29: Garden City, New York – Roosevelt Field – World Cup Champion Abby Wambach
- 7/29: Houston, Texas – Houston Galleria – Houston Texans Linebacker Brian Cushing
- 7/29: Las Vegas, Nevada – Fashion Show – Boxing Legend Sugar Ray Leonard
- 7/31: Lone Tree, Colorado – Park Meadows – OneRepublic
- 7/29: Santa Clara, California – Westfield Valley Fair – NBA Champion and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala
- 7/29: Seattle, Washington – University Village – Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver Doug Baldwin
- 7/29: Tysons Corner, Virginia (D.C. area) – Tysons Corner Center – World Cup Champion Ali Krieger
Windows Insiders are also being offered a special treat. The first 50 Windows Insiders to enter each store will receive an exclusive Windows Insiders t-shirt (first-come first-served), and a Windows Insider Exclusive Microsoft store offer.
More details can be had here: Join Microsoft Stores to Celebrate Windows 10 with Special Events, Guest Appearances, Workshops and More