Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system will be released on Thursday, Australian time – but when will you be able to get your hands on it?
The tech giant has released enough information to piece together a rough roadmap that’ll provide some indication of when Windows 10 will land on your desktop.
When will I get Windows 10?
Come July 29, those who have been testing the new OS for the past few months as part of the Windows Insider program will be first in line to recieve Windows 10 as an update. This first wave of users will act as guinea pigs for the finalised version of Windows 10, allowing Microsoft to iron out any bugs before a wider release.
‘From there, we will start notifying reserved systems in waves, slowly scaling up after July 29th. Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users,’ Terry Myerson, Windows and Devices Group Executive Vice President said in a blog post earlier this month.
Those who pre-ordered Windows 10 via the Microsoft website will come next, Myerson says.
‘If you reserved your copy of Windows 10, we will notify you once our compatibility work confirms you will have a great experience, and Windows 10 has been downloaded on your system.’
That notification will come in the form of an icon on your PC’s taskbar which will appear once Windows 10 has finished downloading and is ready to install. Microsoft has said it expects the ‘vast majority’ of PCs running Windows 7 and above will be ready to upgrade to Windows 10.
‘If your system is not ready yet for your upgrade to Windows 10, we will provide more details during the upgrade experience. In some cases, we will include contact information so you can follow up directly with an application provider or device manufacturer to learn more. For most upgrade incompatibilities, you may still choose to complete the upgrade, and find alternative compatible solutions in the Windows Store after you upgrade.’
There won’t be any official way to jump the queue – Microsoft won’t be making downloadable disk images for Windows 10 available in the short term, Amazon won’t start selling the operating system on USB drives until late August, and there’s no indication of when DVD copies will be available.
Enterprise and education customers will be able to download Windows 10 from August 1, and Microsoft says it’ll be adding more business-focused features in coming months.
At least some PC makers will have devices on sale running Windows 10 straight away – Dell told CRN it would have PCs running Windows 10 available for purchase from July 29.
Will I have to pay for Windows 10?
Microsoft says most users won’t have to pay for Windows 10, as long as they’re currently using Windows 7 and up. The free upgrade offer will run until July 29, 2016, but those who install Windows 10 before that date will own their copy for life, even if they need to reinstall.
Users who want to create a USB or DVD backup of the Windows 10 install files will be able to do so themselves for free.
PC owners using any version of Windows older than Windows 7 will need to purchase a copy of Windows 10 if they wish to upgrade. While Australian pricing has yet to be released, it’s expected a single copy of Windows 10 will cost about $150.
What about Windows Phone?
Microsoft has said it is working with Windows Phone manufacturers to make a Windows 10 update available ‘later this year’.
Windows 10 is expected to feature a common base with which developers will be able to build apps that work on smartphones, tablets, PCs and desktops, and even Xbox.