Microsoft ushered in a new era of its Windows operating system on Wednesday afternoon. While we're excited about all of Windows 10's new features, as deal hunters, its the OS' price that got us all hot and bothered. The Redmond-based giant confirmed that Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 users. There is a catch, however.
The OS will only be available to download for free for a year, and Microsoft neglected to mention what downloads would cost once the year is up. (Most media outlets are assuming that there won't be further costs after a year for the freebie downloaders, but the fine print for the offer probably won't be available until Windows 10 is out.)
Nevertheless, Windows 10 is the first major operating system upgrade that Microsoft is offering for free. The complimentary upgrade could be an attempt by Microsoft to rectify the release of its last OS, Windows 8, which many manufacturers claimed hurt the sales of Windows PCs. Likewise, it could be Microsoft's answer to Apple's last OS updates, which were also distributed free of charge.
A Service, Not a Product
At a Windows 10 event in Redmond, Microsoft operating system chief Terry Myerson likened Windows 10 to a service, rather than a product. The Microsoft Windows 10 website also states that once a qualified Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to keep it up to date for the supported lifetime of the device for no additional charge.
The new OS, which has yet to receive an official release date, will come packed with features like Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant now available on PCs; Spartan, a redesigned browser for Web surfing; Xbox on Windows, a way of streaming Xbox One games users already own across all their Windows 10-enabled devices; and Windows Holographic, Microsoft's take on augmented reality that when paired with Microsoft HoloLens, will let users interact between the physical and digital worlds.
There's no official release date yet for Windows 10, and Microsoft has yet to announce system requirements for the new OS. Still, we're looking forward to Windows 10's roll out and equally excited about the extra cash that will remain in our wallets.
What do you think, reader? Will you upgrade to Windows 10 right away? Let us know in the comments below.