As expected, Microsoft has officially launched the much-anticipated Windows 10 release, for the first time is being delivered as a service and at the great price of: free. Touted to be “the best Windows” ever, it is also the most secure and will be kept up-to-date automatically. Five million Windows Insiders and fans played an instrumental role in the development of Windows 10. The big release is available on a broad range of devices including PCs, tablets, phones, Raspberry Pi, HoloLens and more. Expect a flurry of Windows 10 devices in the market very soon.
I was at the #Windows10 satellite launch in Singapore, with simultaneous fan celebrations in 13 countries including Sydney, Tokyo, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, Sao Paulo and New York City.
The Singapore launch was headlined by Andrew Pickup, senior director, communications, Microsoft Asia Pacific; Microsoft Asia Pacific; Jessica Tan, managing director, Microsoft Singapore; and Guenter Weimer, general manager, Windows & Surface, Microsoft Asia Pacific.
The fan celebration commenced later with appearances by football siblings Irfan and Ikhsan Fandi (sons of football hero Fandi Ahmad), pro-gamer girl Tammy Tang aka Furryfish and YouTube sensation JinHao Tan.
Fans had the opportunity to touch and feel devices and experience the new Windows 10 in different scenarios – at work and at play.
The global celebration isn’t just about the launch of the new Windows, but also marks a year-long initiative to celebrate people and organisations who are making a difference around the world. “Upgrade Your World” celebrates those who inspire and empower others, led by Microsoft’s vision to help people achieve more through technology.
Microsoft has partnered with 10 global and 100 local nonprofits with a total US$10 million cash investment to be made in support of their missions and to drive awareness.
Among the participating global nonprofits are CARE, Code.org, Keep a Child Alive, Malala Fund, Pencils of Promise, Save the Children, Special Olympics, The Global Poverty Project, and the Nature Conservancy. You can vote for the next “Upgrade Your World” initiative at windows.com/upgradeyourworld.
The best Windows ever is also the most familiar
Windows 10 is fast, clean and efficient even on older hardware. It will also feel incredibly familiar, with the return of the Start menu, now integrated with Live Tiles.
It is by far the most secure Windows, with enhancements to Windows Defender and SmartScreen for the best protection against security threats.
New innovations like Windows Hello offers a fast, secure and password-less way to log in to Windows.
What’s great is that Windows 10 is delivered as a service, meaning it will always be up-to-date with free updates including latest features and security updates.
Some new things that Windows 10 brings to the plate:
- New Microsoft Edge browser – a cleaner, more intuitive way to browse, read, mark up and share the web
- Continuum – optimises apps and experiences across touch and desktop modes
- New built-in apps include Photos, Maps, Groove (new music app), Mail, Calendar; Movies & TV.
- Microsoft Phone Companion app – enables iPhones, Android and Windows Phones to work seamlessly with Windows 10 devices
- All new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 (available in the Windows Store), built for mobile and work on-the-go
Windows for free
Windows 10 is a free upgrade for customers with Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. You can upgrade online and in fact you should already be pushed the update as we speak. Some of you may have already reserved your free upgrade. You should be notified of an installer download, if you haven’t already received it.
The installer is 3GB large, and you will need 20GB of available storage space. Take advantage of the free offer now, as it will expire a year from now.
If you’re already running a PC with Windows 7 or 8/8.1, you can bring it to a physical Microsoft Store or partner store to get a free upgrade too. Note that this applies to existing genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1.
Microsoft is making available physical retail copies of the big update – a media-less option where you get an online key or a thumbdrive version (country/region dependent). It will become broadly available in mid-August and September. The retail version of Windows 10 Home is priced at US$119.99 (RM458) for home use and Windows 10 Pro goes for US$199.99 (RM763).
Businesses have the option of volume licensing where they can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.
For Malaysians, in addition to online upgrades, six leading IT retailer namely Senheng Electric (KL) Sdn Bhd, ALL IT Hypermarket Sdn Bhd and Thundermatch Technology Sdn Bhd will set up some 70 Tech Bench locations where customers can get help to migrate from their Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines. Microsoft will officially be launched in Malaysia on 10 August 2015.
New Windows Store, new Universal apps
With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft is also launching a new Windows Store, available from 29 July 2015. Apps are certified by Microsoft and will work across all Windows 10 devices. In addition to existing Windows 8.1 apps such as Clipboard, Asphalt 8: Airborne and more, new Universal Windows Apps and games including Twitter, Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta, Hulu and WeChat will be made available soon.
In a recent poll involving leading developers across eight markets in the Asia Pacific region including Malaysia, 78% of the developer community have indicated their commitment to develop apps for Windows 10. Microsoft rolled out the Windows 10 Software Development Kit in Asia Pacific in conjunction with the launch.
It’s time to #UpgradeYourWorld with Windows 10!