Windows 10 will be a free upgrade

At its press event today, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users during its first year of availability. There was some confusion, however, when Microsoft’s Terry Myerson started talking about Windows 10 “as a service.” Did that mean that after that first year of free availability, Windows 10 would cost an annual fee? I asked Myerson for clarification after the presentation, and he confirmed that there will be no additional fees attached to Windows 10, whenever you buy it.

Myerson clarified that Windows 10 users will still get free updates and support for the lifetime of the OS, exactly like past versions of Windows (like XP and Windows 7’s Service Packs, for example). There’s no subscription model for updates or support or continuing to use the OS. Myerson’s reference to Windows “as a service” simply meant that Microsoft plans to update the OS with smaller, more regular updates rather than the big, chunky updates of past Service Packs.

A year after Windows 10 is first available, it will no longer be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users. Microsoft will then sell Windows 10 the same way it has sold past versions of Windows. MS hasn’t set a specific price yet, but Myerson said the price will likely be comparable to past versions of Windows. Windows 8 costs $120 on Amazon, for instance.

Update: It seems there’s still confusion. It is very clear from this post that for the first year it’s available, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free if you have Windows 7 or 8. You will not pay for it. After that year is up, nothing will happen to your Windows 10 license. If you do not upgrade within that year, however, you will have to pay for an upgrade. The offer expires after a year, not the upgrade.

Source: Microsoft: Windows 10 will not be sold as a subscription

Windows 8.1 Preview is also available for download

When Windows 8.1 is finished later this year, it’s going to be distributed as a free update for anyone running Windows 8. Windows 8 users will see the update published and promoted in the Windows Store. The preview will give a taste of how this will work—it too installs through the store.

To get it to show up, you will have to install an update from this page. After rebooting, the Store will show the preview. From there you can install the preview; a 2GB download and a couple of reboots later and it will be done.

As with any beta software, this is probably not something you want to do on a production machine. Microsoft says that while some people will be able to uninstall the preview (and then upgrade to the final 8.1 build when it’s available), under some circumstances this isn’t possible, so you’ll have to be prepared to blow the machine away to upgrade it.

If you’re not running Windows 8, you obviously won’t be able to install from the Windows Store. Microsoft will make ISOs available to download some time over the next day.

Microsoft ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003

In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for Microsoft products. As per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products, including Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level.
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Windows 8, a Kindergarten UI design

Disclaimer: This review is based from a personal desktop experience point-of-view, it should vary in touch-enabled devices. There’s no intended hate against Microsoft and their products.

Design

At first glance we appreciate some notably differences from the previous version, Windows 7.
To start with, there’s no Aero. But why is that? Here’s the Microsoft excuse:

It’s all about battery life.

You can find a detailed explanation within a huge blog post in Creating the Windows 8 user experience.

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Windows 8 RTM and Visual Studio 2012 RTM are now available

Windows 8 RTM and Visual Studio 2012 RTM are now available to MSDN subscribers.

Windows 8, which was released to manufacturing at the beginning of August, will be available so that MSDN developers can build and finalize applications. That includes Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 for ARM-based tablets, according to Microsoft.

On tap for general release today are the final versions of Visual Studio 2012, .NET Framework 4.5, Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server and the Visual Studio 2012 Software Developer Kit. The free Visual Studio Express 2012 tools for Windows 8 (metro-style apps) and the Web will also be available.
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Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 reached RTM

Windows 8

Microsoft has finalized the Windows 8 operating system and made it available for equipment manufacturers to start imaging the OS onto new hardware, including PCs and tablets. The release to manufacturing (RTM) also means that developers soon will have the first complete build of the OS (known as “build 9200”) to finalize their applications.

Developers subscribing to MSDN membership services will be able to get their hands on the Windows 8 RTM version on August 15. Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 will be available via MSDN on the same date. The Visual Studio tooling is finalized, according to Microsoft Corporate Vice President S. Somasegar, who made the announcement in his blog on Wednesday.
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