Fast and slow rings receive January build simultaneously
A couple of days after its much talked about “Windows 10: The Next Chapter” event and over two months after the last official preview release, Microsoft on Friday rolled out a new Windows 10 Technical Preview build to the Windows Insider Program. A lot has changed from the last build, with the January Technical Preview containing many new features and apps (including some that are a bit too incipient to be of any real use at this stage).
There's a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding Windows 10 at the moment, which is understandable since Microsoft just finished revealing a bunch of extra details at a scheduled press event. However, if you direct your attention to Microsoft's Lumia Conversations blog, there's a bit of a buzz-kill for Windows Phone owners. Specifically, Microsoft said that not all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices will see an upgrade to Windows 10, even though it previously said they would.
UPDATE: We've updated the story to include more info on Microsoft's PC gaming initiative and talked more about the tweaks to Windows 10.
Microsoft held a Windows 10 press conference today and revealed a massive amount of details from the upcoming OS and much more. After many rumors, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 will be free to Windows 8, 7, and Windows Phone users...for the first year, at least. The company views it as an incentive for users to quickly jump on board to the Windows 10 platform. Beyond the year, however, Microsoft hasn’t revealed any pricing details for how much the OS will cost.
Stop whatever it is you're doing and make a fist. Make sure there isn't a living creature within arm's length, and when the coast is clear, pump your fist in the air in celebration. What are we celebrating? The fact that Microsoft today confirmed plans to make Windows 10 a free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 users! This is exactly the type of announcement we were hoping for, but didn't really think would happen.
There's a bit of debate brewing over whether or not Google did the right thing by posting a Windows 8.1 security vulnerability to the public before Microsoft was able to release a patch. The disclosure came from Google's Project Zero program, which hunts down vulnerabilities in software and alerts its findings to vendors "in as close to real-time as possible." Vendors are then given a 90-day deadline to issue a patch, and in this case, Microsoft didn't react in time.
Given the choice, most people would likely choose a Windows laptop over a Chromebook if both were free. They're not free, of course, and Chromebooks have found an audience due to their low price tags and ability to offer basic functionality, like surfing the web and being productive in Google's ecosystem. In addition, you can now run Linux in a Window on Chromebooks.
PC vendors are not sure what to expect from Windows 10
Trying to predict the PC market is like to trying to forecast the weather a month in advance -- it's a crapshoot, basically. So, we're taking it with several grains of salt that PC vendors are reportedly doubtful that the Windows 10 launch next year will stimulate demand for replacement systems. One reason they feel that way is because of the lingering rumor that Microsoft may make Windows 10 a free update.
Around one out of 10 Windows 10 users ran into trouble when trying to install a update intended to fix a problem that was causing Explorer.exe to frequently crash following an upgrade to Windows 10 Build 9879. The problem was further exacerbated by the fact that Microsoft said it didn't have a new build planned until early 2015. If you're one of the people who ran into trouble, here's a heads up that Microsoft has released a hotfix to address the issue.
There are several interesting things taking place in the leaked Windows 10 build, the one that Microsoft is apparently super calm about making the rounds. One that we wanted to touch a bit more on is a new Xbox app. This is something that Microsoft is still working on, as the app clearly states when it's fired up, but the Redmond outfit is so excited about it that it wanted to give early users a sneak peek.
Excuse us as we do a double take, the only normal reaction to Microsoft being totally chill with a new build of Windows 10 being leaked to the public before its intended release. We're referring to Build 9901, which contains a whole bunch of consumer-specific features and improvements, not all of them working. It leaked to the web over the weekend, and Microsoft's response is refreshingly relaxed.