A Windows 10 deadline for a free upgrade, one year after first being released to the public, is close at hand. After July 29, Microsoft reports that, for users of the home version, the price of Windows 10 will increase to $119.
Two days after the July 29, 2015 release of Windows 10, the Inquisitr reported that the wildly popular operating system had already been installed on 14 million machines. That number swelled to 300 million by early May 2016.
Windows 7 and 8.1 users can download Windows 10 from Microsoft for free until July 29. After that, the price will be $119. Users who upgrade before the deadline are eligible for free future updates, including a Windows 10 Anniversary Update, reported to be available from Microsoft this summer.
Windows 10 has received rave reviews from users, of the kind rarely seen for operating systems, perhaps since the introduction of Windows 3.0 in 1990, the first Microsoft product seen as truly competing with the Apple Macintosh, the first successful graphical user interface, as reported by the Old Computer Museum.
Windows 10 has been described as being built from the “ground up.” It is unique in that it is meant to be run on both personal computers and smart phones, and it is described as running”fast” and of being “familiar” to users of previous versions. Perhaps, surprisingly, machines currently running Windows 7 and 8.1 should not see any significant slowdown when upgraded to Windows 10; in fact, some may even run faster.
This lively performance is evident in that the average time for a first log-in on an “affordable” Windows 10 machine in an educational environment, running in shared cart configuration, was reported to be 26 seconds, with subsequent log-ins averaging six seconds.
The start menu, the task bar, and the desktop familiar to Windows users remain unchanged in Windows 10. When upgrading, files — including photos, music, documents, as well as apps — are all seamlessly transferred.
One of the reasons, besides appearing to be well-written and efficient software, Windows 10 speeds up some computers may be a result of its industry-leading antivirus software, Windows Defender. Simply installing Windows 10 may catch viruses, malware, and spyware previously unnoticed. Furthermore, future updates to Defender are included simply by upgrading to Windows 10 before the July 29 deadline.
Microsoft’s latest browser, Edge, comes together with Windows 10. The company reports that in the month of March 2016, 63 billion minutes were spent using the Edge browser, representing a 50 percent quarter over quarter increase.
Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Cortana, is reported to have answered more than 6 billion questions since her debut. Adding to the virtual assistant’s appeal, Microsoft reports that Cortana can also be used across iOS and Android devices. Cortana integrates seamlessly with the Edge browser.
Windows 10 offers owners of computers with biometric authentication devices, the Windows Hello program, which can be used to sign-in using fingerprints or faces.
“You can get all the current and future goodness of Windows for free,” Bryan Roper from Microsoft says, encouraging users to upgrade before the looming Windows 10 deadline.
The popularity and favorable reviews of Windows 10 can been seen on Microsoft’s bottom line: despite a Wall Street analyst consensus for revenues declining 2.2 percent to $91.55 billion in 2016, Microsoft is expected to grow its earnings per share by 8.5 percent, to $2.67, as reported by Yahoo Finance, a respectable amount for a company with a market capitalization of close to $400 billion and $100 billion in annual sales.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 strategy appears to be working well for the company, which is clearly encouraging its customers to upgrade to its latest, wildly popular version for free, before the impending July 29 deadline.
[Image via Microsoft]