At the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) event in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Windows is currently used by over 1.5 billion users around the world. Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to customers who have Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 for the first year after it is released. Microsoft Windows head Terry Myerson told Reuters that the free upgrade to Windows 10 is available for all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine.
Microsoft has partnered with Lenovo, Tencent and Qihu 360 to “spur adoption of Windows 10 worldwide.” Lenovo will be offering Windows 10 upgrade services at 2,500 service centers and retail stores in China along with selling Windows phones through China Mobile. Tencent will launch its QQ app and many of its popular PC games like “League of Legends,” “Cross Fire” and “Dungeon & Fighter” for Windows 10. Internet security company Qihu 360 will offer Windows 10 for free to their customers in China. And Xiaomi will be setting up a group of Mi 4 smartphone “power users” with a program to help test Windows 10.
Microsoft’s deal with Xiaomi — which is known as the Windows Insider Program — is interesting because Xiaomi’s flagship products are Android-based smartphones. How will Xiaomi Mi4 users be able to replace the Android-based operating system with Windows? Apparently Microsoft created a custom-based ROM to overwrite the Android operating system in the Mi4 with Windows. This is similar to the way that CyanogenMod offers a customized version of Android that replaces the default Android operating system that ships with a device. As a result, a group of Xiaomi Mi4 users will be able to “flash” their phones with the new Windows 10 operating system and provide feedback to Xiaomi and Microsoft. Microsoft is planning to partner with other mobile companies for its Windows Insider Program in the near future too.
For the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, Microsoft is developing a whole new version of Windows for free. The IoT version of Windows 10 will support a wide variety of devices like ATMs and ultrasound machines. Microsoft is working closely with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Intel and Qualcomm to come up with options for hobbyists, students and builders. “Windows 10 is the only platform that supports innovation across such a broad family of hardware and we are committed to investing in the success of our partners and supporting their development activities,” said Myerson in a blog post</a>.
At the same event, Microsoft revealed its new Windows Hello technology. Windows Hello is a new biometric authentication service that Microsoft is adding to Windows 10. This will let people use their face, iris or fingerprints to unlock laptops, tablets and smartphones. Microsoft also recently joined the FIDO Alliance, which is an organization that provides specifications for logging into services without using a password.
The minimum system requirements for Windows 10 have been placed into two categories: mobile devices and desktops. The minimum screen size requirement for mobile devices is 3.0-7.99 inches, whereas the minimum desktop screen size is above 8 inches. However, devices can be considered desktops if the screen size is as low as 7 inches if it runs on Windows 10 Pro. To run a 32-bit version of Windows 10, mobile devices require 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, DirectX 9 support and physical hardware buttons (start, back and search). The minimum hardware requirements for desktops are a display resolution above 800×600, 1GB of RAM for 32-bit Windows 10 or 2GB of RAM for 64-bit Windows 10, 16GB storage for 32-bit Windows 10 or 32GB for 64-bit Windows 10 and physical hardware buttons (power and volume up/down).
There are going to be at least four Windows 10 options: Consumer, Pro, Mobile and the Internet of Things version mentioned earlier. Some of the other features built into Windows 10 includes Cortana integration on desktops, a new web browser code-named Spartan, a new Start Menu, universal apps and Continuum (useful for 2-in-1 devices that changes modes if a keyboard is disconnected).
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This article was written by Amit Chowdhry from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.