Microsoft is to make the latest version of its Windows operating system free for some users.
First unveiled last September, the new Windows 10 will include Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant which debuted on Windows Phone last year and will now be available on PCs and tablets.
The update will also include a new web browser to replace Internet Explorer which the firm says “was built with interoperability in mind”.
Features include the ability to annotate whether by keyboard or pen directly on the webpage and a reading view that is described as “distraction-free, displaying the article in a simplified layout for a great reading experience for Web articles online and offline”
Windows 10 also sees the return of the familiar start menu and the introduction of a new multiple desktops feature allowing users to create new workspace, each with their own apps and icons.
Gamers will gain a new Xbox app which will let them stream games from their console to their Windows 10 tablets or PCs when connected to a home network.
Microsoft describes Windows 10 as “the first step to an era of more personal computing,” that will give users greater continuity across their devices.
It will be available as a free update to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 provided they upgrade within a year of release.
“Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era in the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our ambition is for the 1.5 billion people who are using Windows today to fall in love with Windows 10 and for billions more to decide to make Windows home.”