Microsoft is planning a big push for Windows 10 and will be giving away the new operating system to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8 users in the first year of release.
“With Windows 10, we think of the operating system as ‘Windows as a service’,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s VP of operating systems. “In next few years, you could think of Windows as one of the largest internet services on the planet. The question of ‘what version are you running’ will cease to make sense.”
The upgrade will only be free in the first 12 months after release and will last for the “supported lifetime of the device.” Microsoft said the new OS will run on PCs, tablets, phones, and a new device to be announced later today.
The result for developers will be a single platform to sell apps on. “Developers are always thinking of the next million sales. Now we can open them to the next billion,” Myerson said.
This will involve “Universal Apps,” Redmond’s much-hyped concept of software that works equally well on the phone, tablet, and PC. The Office applications will be available as Universal Apps, and developers will be encouraged to do the same with their own code.