Following Apple’s lead as ever, Microsoft says Windows 10 to be ‘free’ – but only for one year

“Microsoft has announced that its next operating system will be offered as a free upgrade to owners of devices running Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Phone,” BBC News reports. “That could help avoid a repeat of the relatively slow uptake of Windows 8. The event at the firm’s Redmond headquarters spent much of its two-hour duration focused on new capabilities gained by introducing the firm’s virtual assistant Cortana to PCs.”

“One analyst suggested the firm had needed to renew interest in its ecosystem,” The Beeb reports. “‘Overall we know that about only about 10% of computers are running Windows 8 and the adoption rate among companies is similar or lower,’ said Frank Gillett, an analyst at the Forrester consultancy. ‘Developers are not paying much attention to Windows for mass market consumer apps, and you could even argue that for enterprise software most of the energy is going into mobile apps for iPad…'”

“Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore confirmed reports that the firm’s web browser, Internet Explorer, was being replaced by a new program codenamed Project Spartan. The software also includes a new ‘noting mode,’ which will let users scribble or type over a page and then share it with others,” The Beeb reports. “Microsoft rounded off its presentation with a tease of a ‘holographic’ computer it calls HoloLens. It suggests that at an unspecified point in the future, people will be able to use the headset to see computer-generated elements superimposed on the world around them.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yawn.

So, after the first year, what happens? Microsoft pays whatever ignorati suckers they have left to install the thing?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dialtone” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
What if Windows 10 fails? – January 21, 2015
Microsoft demos Windows 9, names it ‘Windows 10’ – September 30, 2014
Apple patent application reveals new 3D GUI for iOS devices – January 12, 2012
Apple wins secret patent for high-end 3D object recognition – November 22, 2011
Apple granted 3D holographic display and imaging system patent – September 13, 2011
Apple exploring multilayer transparent OLED displays for glasses-free 3D computing – July 21, 2011
Apple patent reveals plans for holographic display – December 26, 2010
Apple awarded U.S. patent on no-glasses-required 3D display – December 1, 2010
Apple patent app describes new way to play in a real-life 3D space using iOS devices – November 9, 2010


  1. “at an unspecified point in the future, people will be able to use the headset to see computer-generated elements superimposed on the world around them.”

    This should take their minds off of system crashes. 🙂

      1. Having to pay after a year is no problem. Just wipe and reinstall for another free year. Poor Windows suckers need to wipe and reinstall every year anyway, just to keep that registry decay, etc. from grinding the PC to a halt.

        1. Wow, we have some haters here today dinging down the anti-Microsoft rhetoric. It’s hater vs hater warz! Just like the old days!

          I’m just glad I’m Microsoft-free. Meanwhile, I’m happy to help out Windows users regarding anything EXCEPT Windows. No more masochism for me, thank you.

        2. If Apple suddenly failed and disappeared, Microsoft would be stuck in whatever mode there were in, at that date, for eternity incapable of moving forward under their own ideas without Apple first showing them what they should do.

    1. Hologram technology isn’t new? Really? Please point me to any current consumer product that offers this. Man, at least give credit where credit is due.

      MS10 might be a flat oversaturated juvenile-looking interface like Yosemite, but holograms may be a compelling technology for videoconferencing, gaming, etc. The smart consumer tests it before he trashes it.

      1. Its not real holograms.. It is an augmentation of of 3d modeling and vertusl reality with our envirnoment .

        It is a projection of digital objects onto real world images on a screen !

        Never the less it is very impressive !

      2. You answered your own question show me a current product to paraphrase you. So is this Microsoft experiment a current product? On the other hand there have been various descriptions and demonstrations of holographic interfaces from those patented by Apple over some years to real life demonstrations by others where interruption of projected wave forms, lasers and even smoke look far more interesting and more truly holographic than this particular concept, forms of which have been demonstrated for years. I will need to know more before I can distinguish exactly how this is different to various other projected imagery over real world scenarios that do and have appeared in consumer and much longer indeed in military and industrial practice. Needs more than a fancy name to impress as we discovered with the those XBox interactive demonstrations of times past that never did do what was promised. U till then the last thing the World needs is a bigger, fatter, uglier replacement for the recently defunct Glass.

      3. A lot of scientific terms are being misused these days. Holography is one of them. Real holography specifically requires lasers to either create an image or project and image. If there aren’t any lasers involved, it’s not holography.

        And of course, just because there are lasers doesn’t mean there’s holography. So don’t expect holograms from sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! 👿

    1. Perhaps they jumped to Windows 10 (as an upgrade) to better compete with Mac OS X (from a marketing perspective, anyway). Then, when they release Windows 11 (add your own Spinal Tap accent or joke, if you like), they’ll try to argue that it is/sounds more-advanced than OS X (which will likely be on 10.12.x by then), and is therefore worthy of a paid upgrade.

      To which the world would respond “Whatever”.

  2. Imagine a snuggling couple on a couch. He/she/it suggests watching a movie. So the two put on their giant holo helmets and begin watching the flick. The movie turns romantic and he/she/it decides to kiss he/she/it, but they both are wearing helmets and that’s not so romantic. He/she/it storms out of the room and proclaims, “Looking at you with that giant headgear covering half your face makes you look like Darth Vader!” He/she/it takes a real bat and smashes it off of he/she/it’s face – end Samsung commercial.

  3. I think the presentation was very impressive..
    From universal platform for all devices to hololens and synergy!
    If they deliver as they promise with rock solid stability Apple has some things to worry about!
    Unless they shift into higher gear and show us some of their mindblowing inventions as real products !
    What was presented today , at least as claims, is ahead of what Apple is offering or rumors of what apple will offer.
    Im concerned !

    1. I’m not.

      1) What makes you think Microsoft’s implementation will be significantly higher in quality and reliability than their implementation of anything else they’ve ever done before? (Even if the OS is more stable, even if the software is better, than past versions of Windows, they still don’t control the quality of the hardware.)

      2) Apple and Microsoft don’t need to enter into the same areas, just like Apple doesn’t need to be building self-driving cars and “smart” glasses. There’s plenty of room for Apple’s approach to the future of technology, and Apple has proven to focus more on improving the way people interact with their technology on a personal level versus flaunting their flashy, impressive geek dreams that never work quite as well as advertised.

      Not saying that Microsoft is taking a bad approach. But y’know what? They NEED to do things like the holo-goggle-things to usher in “the future of technology” because they just don’t get making truly personal computing devices that dramatically impact people’s lives the way Apple does. Different strategies for different companies with different goals.

      1. I think what they presented today is way more than hololens..
        But that said ..the whole premise of what i wrote is ” IF THEY CAN DELIVER CORRECTLY AS PROMISED ”
        That im am not at all sure about.
        But what they claim to be able to deliver is impressive !

    2. The number of times I have heard that, yet never has it come to pass. The universal platform is no different to what they promised with Windows 8 and how did that work out. This is supposed to be the version that works yet in terms of phones it means nothing in reality as the form factor can’t possibly work in the same way as a PC and pc tablets are exactly what the produce now and yet the universal interaction between them and PCs is purely a myth for the most part, a clumsy mix of confused metaphors that work poorly wherever and whatever form factor is used. The idea is àppealing but in reality it is more like putting lipstick on a pig with all the required compromises. Promises, promises of a new beginning well I guess there is always a chance if distant of Microsoft delivering but I wouldn’t hold my breath the reality never lives up to the promises with that company.

      1. But tgey showed how the UI can adapt to the device in use.. Or user preferance!
        It is not the same ui acrooss the board or watered down version.
        It is a fully adaptive ui depending on the type/size of device and user preferance !

        That said..these are all claims !! Thats why i said..” If they can deliver what they promised correctly …)

    3. Those who disagree.. Could u at least explain why you disagree rather than just give low stars.
      Im curios to know how u disagree with what i wrote !
      You dont think the adaptive interface for each device and user preferance is cool?
      U dont think one platforn for all is a great thing..? Obe app works on everything!
      U dont think integration of cortina on desktop is cool?
      U dont think the synergy between gaming, xbox and pc and all devices is cool?
      U dont think the hololens is cool?

      I hope at least apple is not being complacent in their reaction to MS event today !

    1. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry on that one. I am looking forward to seeing how for example Photoshop that works on a PC magically works on an Arm powered phone. If so they have truly found a form of nirvana as would them magically landing a spaceship on Mars any time soon. Equally unlikely.

    1. So quaint isn’t it when Windows fanbois being so out of touch with reality still don’t understand that most hacks simply use MacBooks. Poor loves can only fume about spies. Infamy, infamy they have all got it infamy. What a Carry On eh.

  4. I am NOT HAPPY to see Apple or Microsoft or Google or Adobe shove subscription-based computing down our throats. That’s the biggest takeaway from today and from all recent software releases from all these companies. PATHETIC.

  5. Meh. Windows 10 looks too much like flat Yosemite with better colors.

    Cortana on the desktop might be a nice feature for some, but I prefer a silent workplace.

    Holodecks sounds interesting, we shall have to see how well it works.

    But in general, I think free software is a bad omen. If that’s all a company thinks it’s worth, then something’s wrong. I don’t want to subsidize one “freebie” by being forced to buy something else, or worse to use some damn cloud.

    Finally, I don’t think that it’s a great idea to attempt to use one OS to control all things – phones, netbooks, tablets, PCs, Xboxes, cars, refrigerators, etc. However, clearly this is what MS wants to do and if they ever did succeed then Apple should be embarrassed. Apple no longer offers Snow Leopard-like stability, which means that its WiFi, Bluetooth, Handoff, iCloud, iTunes, and web services are all hobbled. I mean seriously, if I can’t even reliably sync my iPhone 6 to my Mac or intuitively and efficiently manage my podcasts with a wired connection, let alone out in the wild across whatever random spotty networks one is forced to use out in the wild, then Apple has failed. It remains to be seen if Windows 10 is a leap ahead — it probably isn’t — but it is an other reminder of what a bad state Yosemite is in.

      1. Mike does have a point. iTunes is installed by default on every Mac, and the iTunes 12 interface is just as ugly and difficult to use as Yosemite. Apple needs a reboot ASAP.

        I hate Microsoft’s idea of having one OS for all devices, and I hate Apples’ idea of dumbing down OS X to look like iOS.

  6. > Microsoft has announced that its next operating system will be offered as a free upgrade to owners of devices running Windows 8, Windows 7…

    What about users of Windows 9? Oh, that’s right… Microsoft skipped “9” to treat the foolish like fools.

      1. Well, that just means Windows 10 is a failure, since it’s actually Windows 9. 🙂 Microsoft can casually skip a number (and hope no one is paying attention), but the next version of Windows is still the one after Windows 8.

  7. “which will let users scribble or type over a page and then share it with others”

    Yea, but not on an iPad or Mac, or Android, or iPhone . . . or older Windows users?

    In the past, that would have been a reason to keep using windows, now it is a reason to NOT use the new Windows features.

  8. i’m guessing service packs (patches) and OS support will require a Windows 10 subscription. Might as well name the subscription service “WinKeeper” and call it a day!

    On a recent trip through South America, I couldn’t help but notice ATM and POS terminals using Windows XP.

  9. I thought that users will have to upgrade to windows 10 within the first year of launch if they want a free upgrade, and it will be free for them after that too. If someone wants to upgrade after the first year then they will have to buy it. I don’t think they are rolling out subscription based OS with windows 10 at least.

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