Two weeks ago when I was in Seattle attending the #OfficeChampions Summit, I got a sneak peek at Windows 10 and was pretty excited about what I saw but had to keep it under wraps until official word came from Microsoft. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be available in 190 countries around the world on July 29.
Wait. What happened to Windows 9?
We asked and there is no Windows 9! If you have Windows 8 or 8.1, come July 29 you’ll jump ahead to Windows 10 that includes some fantastic features. Here’s a quick run through of four key features to get excited about!
Welcome Back Start Menu!
If you’ve been mourning the loss of the Start Menu since you installed Windows 8, don’t despair! The Start Menu is making a full comeback with Windows 10. Not only is it back but it’s integrated with the live tile touch experience to be better than ever.
Cortana Digital Assistant Comes to Your PC
If you’ve always wanted a digital assistant, Cortana is now here to help you on your PC. Previously just available for Windows Phone users, Cortana can assist by helping you find files, sending an email on your behalf, turn on your music, pull up photos, find apps, and more just by saying, “Hey Cortana.”
We had a great time giving commands to Cortana on a Surface Tablet during the #ChampionsSummit. She passed with flying colors and far less attitude than Siri!
Write on the Web with Microsoft Edge
If you’ve always wanted to live on the edge, Microsoft Edge is the new browser for Windows 10 that lets you write on the web with built-in note taking, sharing, and integration with Cortana. Want to work distraction free? There’s a reading pane that lets you concentrate on what’s most important.
Xbox Live Built into Windows 10
Love your Xbox? Now love it even more that your games, friends, achievements and more follow you across Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. Since Xbox Live is built into Windows 10, you’ll now have access to the greatest gaming community in the world no matter where you are. Windows 10 extends the Xbox experience with game streaming which means you can play your Xbox One games on a desktop, laptop, or tablet in your home on your local Wi-Fi.
How to Upgrade to Windows 10
While the full version will be out on July 29th, you can get early access through the Windows Insider Program. In exchange for providing valuable feedback about products in their earliest stages, Windows Insider community members get an early look at Windows 10.
Those who use Windows 8 and 8.1 with their tablets and PCs can get a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it comes out in July by reserving your upgrade through a simple reservation process. Just look for the following icon in the system tray at the bottom of your screen and click it to complete the reservation process.
For more information about upgrading to Windows 10, visit Windows.com.
As a member of #WindowsChamps I receive products for review and am a compensated member of #OfficeChampions. Microsoft paid for my expenses to attend the #ChampionsSummit but all opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Microsoft.