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Windows 10 Release Date: Free Upgrade, Download Update for Lumia Phones and Xbox One

( [email protected] ) May 20, 2015 02:36 AM EDT
Windows 10 will be launched on seven platforms upon the release date, Microsoft confirms. Announced back in April 2014, the software is currently undergoing beta testing on select copies of the Lumia smartphone.
Microsoft's Lumia 940 is expected to be a vast improvement over the 930, which has already done well in sales. Photo: Microsoft

Windows 10 will be launched on seven platforms upon the release date, Microsoft confirms. Announced back in April 2014, the software is currently undergoing beta testing on select copies of the Lumia smartphone. Owners of Windows 8.1 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free later this year.

When it is ready, Windows 10 will be the interface users see on devices such as the desktop computers, Xbox One consoles, and Microsoft wireless devices.

When Will Windows 10 Be Released?

Last month, AMD CEO Lisa Su accidently revealed the Windows 10 launch ahead of an official confirmation from longtime business partner Microsoft.  

"With the Windows 10 launch at the end of July, we're watching, sort of the impact of that on the back-to-school season, and expect that it might have a bit of a delay to the normal back-to-school season inventory build-up," Su said while answering an analyst's question at AMD's quarterly earning call.

It is not clear whether Su got clearance from Microsoft to reveal this information. Previously, Microsoft announced plans to release Windows 10 by this summer, but did not give a specific launch schedule.

Windows 10 Continuum Feature Integrates Lumia with Desktop Experience

Lumia owners will soon have the option to use their phones the same way as desktop PC. This works through the Continuum feature that allows Lumia devices to be connected to a larger screen, wireless mouse, and keyboard.

Users will notice that the Lumia's Windows 10 interface will change to the traditional desktop mode that includes the Start Menu. Windows 10 switches back to tablet mode when the user disconnects from the said devices.

Admittedly, Windows 10 is not going to be the first operating system that brings the desktop experience to mobile devices. However, Microsoft's universal design allows Windows apps to be more easily scaled to PC size.

Unfortunately, Lumia users will not be getting Windows 10 when the software arrives this summer. That is because Microsoft is choosing to stagger the launch cycle, with Windows 10 being available on PC desktops and notebooks first.

Instead, Lumia owners will need to wait patiently for the free update that is sure to follow.

The End of Internet Explorer, Dawn of Microsoft Edge

Love it or hate it, the Internet Explorer remains an iconic feature in Windows OS history. Still, Windows 10 will lose this web browser in favor of Microsoft Edge. When going online, users will be able to search for websites via a simple address bar. Users can write side notes and highlight words within the website.

Also, Microsoft Edge is integrated with digital personal assistant Cortana. When users highlight a word and select Cortana, the program will give additional information. Cortana can also be used to look for driving directions and making dinner reservations.  

Named for the artificial-intelligence program from Microsoft's Halo gaming franchise, Cortana is voiced by Jen Taylor who provided the voice for the software and videogame incarnation of the character.