Update note: about the concern of being required to take a Microsoft Cloud account in order to use Windows 10, please look at my reveiw of the Tech Preview at http://jdnash.com/2014/10/windows-10-technical-preview-first-look/ and pay attention to the item “1. How to use Windows 10 without subscribing to Microsoft Cloud”
According to an article on eWeek, Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for customers currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Pirated copies of Windows 7 and 8 will also upgrade for free. Microsoft will make it’s money in the cloud. Hardware requirement will be 1GHz processor, 1G RAM, 16G storage, and DirectX 9 capable graphics. However, it is also said that you MUST have a Microsoft Cloud account. In Windows 8 you could get around this.
Xiaomi, the mobile device maker, is looking at Windows 10 mobile as an alternative to Android, and Windows 10 will work on all devices, including tablets, greatly simplifying interoperability. Advanced biometrics, such as retina scanners, will be included which when combined with Azure or OneDrive could mean fewer credential hassles across all your devices — scan retina on on your phone, tablet, phablet, or PC to log in.
“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of operating systems, inan interview with Reuters.
According Ars Technica, Microsoft representatives have indicated that those with pirated copies of previous Windows versions will be able to upgrade to Windows 10, but the Windows 10 they get will be considered an “unofficial” version.
Spartan, supposedly a total (or almost total) rewrite of the Microsoft web browser, will replace IE. Cortana, the “personal digital assistant’ available for Windows phones, will work on all versions of Windows 10. Cortana, I hear, is not your grandfather’s Clippie. Haven’t seen it on my Windows 7 phone. As I mentioned in my previous review of the tech preview, the menu system and such in Windows 10 is much more usable, keeping the worthwhile innovations from both Windows 7 and 8 — the menu is back, and the touch screen cell phone like launchers are staying.