Microsoft is betting that starting Wednesday, Windows 10 (which CNN tech reviewer David Goldman calls “seriously great“) will open a new window on their brand and their core business. The July 29th global launch, which will upgrade one billion devices in 190 countries and 111 languages, is being heralded with local events that highlight the new features of Windows 10 (see below). CEO Satya Nadella, for his part, will be celebrating in Kenya, as he shared on Twitter.
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) July 28, 2015
The Windows 10 operating system upgrade is free if you are running either Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1. If you’re not already running Windows (or on an older version), you’ll need to upgrade to the $119 Home edition or $199 Pro edition.
As noted in January, “This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost. With Windows 10, the experience will evolve and get even better over time. We’ll deliver new features when they’re ready, not waiting for the next major release. We think of Windows as a Service – in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet.”
In addition to the heartwarming “The future starts now” Windows 10 ad campaign featuring charming kids such as the one above, the launch campaign even has its own trippy music video (below) from Seattle-based electronic dance music duo Odesza that plays with light, lasers and the Microsoft logo:
People around the world will celebrate the launch of Windows 10 Wednesday at fan celebrations in 13 countries and via a new yearlong initiative to celebrate people and organizations making a difference around the world.
Microsoft is offering $500,000 to a global nonprofit in a corporate citizenship #UpgradeYourWorld project that reinforces Windows 10’s “Do Great Things” call to action: “Starting 7/29 share your story, vote for a global nonprofit and give them a chance to win $500k.”
As Microsoft details, “We’re investing $10 million in organizations that are upgrading the world. We’ve identified nine global nonprofits, and we’d like your help choosing the 10th. Beginning July 29th, we’ll ask you to share the name of your favorite organization and how you upgrade the world in big and small ways. Based on your votes, a 10th nonprofit will receive $500,000 as well as Microsoft technology and services. Then, after the 10th global organization is announced, you’ll have the chance to help us choose 100 local nonprofits – 10 in 10 countries. Each will receive a $50,000 cash investment plus technology from Microsoft.”
Microsoft’s 10 reasons to upgrade to Windows 10:
It’s Familiar: Discover why Windows 10 is the best combination of the Windows you already know, plus lots of great improvements you’ll love having. And all of your stuff comes with you, so you’ll be ready to do great things from the get-go.
Continuum: Touch when you want to, type when you need to. Continuum on Windows 10 optimizes your experience for your activity, device and display, so you can do your thing in tablet or desktop mode anytime you want.
Cortana: Discover Cortana, your truly personal digital assistant, now on Windows 10. Find out how she can help you do whatever you do, almost wherever you want to do it—on your Windows PC, tablet, phone or even iPhone.
Microsoft Edge: Want a browser that works the way you do? Meet Microsoft Edge–the browser that turns browsing into doing with things like writing directly on webpages, a distraction-free reading mode and many other new features.
Multi-Doing: Windows 10 gives you absolutely the best experience for doing what you do. With features like Action Center, Task View and Snap Assist, it’s all about removing the obstacles between you and ‘Done’.
Music and More: Take a peek at the great built-in apps like Photos, Maps, Music, and Movies & TV on Windows 10. This family of apps shares an elegant look and feel that works consistently across your PCs, tablets and phones, conveniently synced with OneDrive so you can do your thing anywhere.
Security: The most secure Windows ever, Windows 10 has more built-in security protections to help safeguard you against viruses, phishing, and malware. New features are now delivered through always-enabled updates, helping you to stay current and your system to feel fresh, so you’re free to do.
Windows Hello: Ready to say “Hello” to Windows Hello? On Windows 10, your PC recognizes you for a more personal experience. It greets you by name as it lights up in recognition, providing a faster and more secure way to log in – because you are the password.
Windows Store: The new Windows Store is one-stop shop for all free and paid apps, games, movies, TV shows and the latest music. Shop with confidence that all Store apps, games and content are certified by Microsoft so you can do more of what you love.
Xbox: Find out why gaming is at its best on Windows 10 with Xbox. From streaming Xbox One games to a PC or tablet, to the biggest franchises and the largest online gaming community, you’ll find many reasons to game with Windows 10.