Microsoft sets Windows 10 release date

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Microsoft sets Windows 10 release date
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella talks up Windows 10.

Start menu makes comeback.

Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for customers with personal computers and tablets running Windows 7 and 8.1 from July 29 worldwide.

Microsoft operating systems boss Terry Myerson said the offer of a free upgrade for the final version of Windows 10 will be available for one year.

Customers who upgrade to Windows 10 will receive all subsequent updates to the operating system for the lifetime of the device they are running the OS on.

Users can upgrade from within Windows 7 and 8.x by responding to a message in the operating system.

Myerson singled out the Cortana personal digital assistant and the Microsoft's next-generation web browser, Edge, as two of the key features of Windows 10.

Windows 10 with Start menu

User authentication through multiple biometric means such as face, iris and fingerprint recognition will also be available in Windows 10, along with updated built-in apps for mail, videos, music, maps, contacts and calendaring.

Those who reacted negatively to the radically different graphical interface of Windows 8 and 8.1 will find themselves in more familiar territory after Microsoft relented and brought back the Start menu.

Pricing leaked?

United States online electronics and software retailer Neweg released preorder pricing for Windows 10 Home and Professional in original equipment manufacturing (OEM) versions, revealing the former would cost US$109 and the latter US$149 (A$144 and A$196 respectively).

Ahead of the release of the final version, Microsoft also made build 10130 of Windows 10 available for certain Windows Insiders program participants over the weekend.

Build 10130 brings a new set of icons for the graphical user interface, a customisable start menu, jump lists on the task bar, and an improved version of the Edge browser, among other features.

Several bugs remain in Windows 10 build 10130, including the Mail app crashing, flyouts from the taskbar not working and wi-fi connectivity failing, according to Gabe Aul, Microsoft's engineering general manager in the operating systems group.

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