Windows 10 Is Now Running On 75 Million Devices

It’s almost been a month since Microsoft launched Windows 10 and in that time the company claims to have got over 75 million devices running on its new software.

The announcement was made by Yusuf Mehdi, VP of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, in a tweet storm that revealed quite a few interesting stats.

According to Mehdi, Windows 10 is now running in 192 countries and on more than 90,000 unique PC or tablet models. The oldest devices being updated to Windows 10 are back from 2007.

The figures all seem positive and are squarely aimed at wooing developers to now build apps for Windows 10, in an attempt to end the Windows app drought.

Microsoft also says that it has seen 6x more app downloads per device from the Windows store for Windows 10 than Windows 8, signifying that users are now more proactive.

All in all, it seems that Microsoft’s bet to provide Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users has been a great success.

While growth will eventually slow, by restricting the free upgrade scheme for only the first year, Microsoft can get Windows 10 on a sizable chunk of the 1 billion planned devices before that period runs out.

Once Activated, You Don’t Need A Product Key To Reinstall Windows 10

Microsoft has begun saving the Windows 10 activation status for a device online. This means that once you’ve activated Windows 10 successfully, all future activations will be done automatically without the need for a product key.

The move makes clean installing Windows on a PC a much easier task, which previously required a product key for every installation. Microsoft ties every Windows activation to a specific device using a unique ID.

With Windows 7 and Windows 8, Microsoft used a hashed value that was recorded in its activation database alongside the product key. Later, reinstalling the same version of Windows on the same hardware with the same product key then automatically activated the software.

With Windows 10, the company stores a digital entitlement (Windows 10 license certificate) alongside the device ID if the install is detected as genuine. When a user reinstalls Windows 10, you don’t need to enter a product key to activate since the digital license is now tied to your hardware.

Long story short, once your Windows 10 install gets activated, you can now wipe your hard disk boot from Windows 10 installation media to have a squeaky clean PC. While the setup does ask you to enter the product key, it can be skipped.

If you reinstall with the same version of Windows 10 on the same hardware you should find yourself automatically activated. Just keep in mind that trying to install a copy of Windows that came preinstalled with a device you bought from an OEM on another PC will not work.

Still confused? Head here

Microsoft Launches Lite Version Of Windows 10 To Powers IoT Devices

Microsoft has announced the launch of Windows 10 IoT Core, a stripped-down version of the OS that’s built to power Internet of Things devices.

Windows 10 IoT Core will run on the Raspberry Pi 2 and Minnowboard Max and the OS will function even when there’s no display attached to it.

There are no windowed interface of desktop experience like you’d expect from regular Windows. Instead, devs have to build their own universal app that functions as the interface of the device.

Microsoft released a preview build of Windows 10 IoT Core back in May, however, the company has now turned on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for wireless connectivity to the web.

Windows 10 IoT Core also brings improvements in the form of better support for Python and Node.js and brings APIs for Windows Universal Apps.

It’s clear that Microsoft wants to Windows 10 to be at the heart of every type of device type imaginable, with versions running even on wearables expected in the future.

Windows 10 IoT Core is available for download right now if you want to get along with the development of your very own IoT device.

Guide To Upgrading/Clean Installing Windows 10 On Your PC

Windows 10 so far seems to be a smash hit among users, with Microsoft reporting that the software was installed on over 14 million devices within the first 24 hours.

WIndows 10 Start Menu

The software is a huge improvement over Windows 8, especially on a non-touch device. Even otherwise, Windows 10 is beautiful to look at, its functionality is fluid and it performs really well.

However, as it is with all new software, there are a few kinks around the edges that anyone upgrading to Windows 10 right now should be aware of.

Activation

Microsoft has an invite system to let users upgrade to Windows 10. A few users haven’t yet got the invite (I hadn’t got it till the time I upgraded) but you can use the ‘media creation tool’ to forcefully get your PC onto Windows 10 anyway.

While you don’t have to wait for the update to reach you to install Windows 10, it’s advisable to do so since a few users are facing activation issues. Microsoft collects system information at the time of the update allowing it to register it and activate your copy of Windows 10 forever.

However, with the forced install, some users are facing issues of activation, especially if you create an install media to load Windows 10 onto another computer. The good news is that most people are reporting that the activation issue solves itself after a few minutes.

Product Key

When doing a fresh install of Windows 10 on a PC via a bootable flash drive or DVD you’re prompted to enter a product key. However, this isn’t the same key that came with your Windows 7 or Windows 8 copy, but a new key that will have been applied to your device once you updated.

In order to check if your copy of Windows 10 is activated you can head to Start Menu > Settings > Update and security> Activation. If your device says it’s activated, great, if not then you’re going to have to figure something else out.

Top tip: let the Windows 10 update install in order to let Microsoft register your device once it’s installed. Then use ProduKey to find out your Windows 10 product key which you can note down and use when you Install Windows 10 from scratch.

Creating Install Media

The Microsoft media creation tool has an option to create a bootable flash drive or ISO for installation of Windows on another computer. Once you have a bootable installer, you can use it to wipe your PC and install a fresh copy of Windows 10.

While creating the install file, you need to specify the version (either 32-bit or 64-bit) and language. Make sure you select the version to be the same as your previous version of Windows. Installing from a flash drive is faster but the smallest USB stick you’ll be able to use is 4GB.

Microsoft Registers 14mn Windows 10 Installs In The First 24 Hours

Just 24 hours after releasing the Windows 10 free upgrade, Microsoft has announced that adoption has been great, with over 14 million devices already running the software.

WIndows 10 Start Menu

Further, the company notes that it is rolling out Windows 10 to users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in phases in order to ensure a great upgrade experience for users.

Windows 10 has received high praise from initial reviewers and users, possibly contributing to the enthusiastic adoption of the latest OS from Microsoft.

Not everyone who has registered for the Windows 10 upgrade has received it yet, and the company said the best way to know when to upgrade is to keep an eye on the little notification icon in the system tray.

Further, users can also clean install Windows 10 on their systems by downloading the ISO from the Microsoft website and using their Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key to activate the software.

Microsoft Launches Windows 10 As A Free Upgrade Worldwide

It was back in September last year that Microsoft surprised everyone by revealing the name of its upcoming OS – Windows 10. Now, after months of iterating and building out features with the help of Windows Insiders, the company has finally launched Windows 10 to the general public.

Windows 10 will be available as an update to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for free across 190 countries starting today. Starting today, you’ll also be able to buy devices from OEMs such as Lenovo, HP, Dell and Acer that come pre-loaded with the latest Windows software.

Old+New

WIndows 10 Start Menu

With Windows 10, Microsoft is bringing back the focus on non-touch devices. The company has brought back the Start menu, Taskbar and Desktop making it easier to use devices with a keyboard, mouse and trackpad.

Security

Windows 10 Hello

Not only has Microsoft upgraded its infamous Defender, it has also debuted Windows Hello which provides passwordless entry into a device by making use of facial recognition tech or even a fingerprint if the required hardware is available.

Accessibility

Windows 10 Cortana

Microsoft has enabled voice, pen and gesture input so that users can make use of the full potential of their hybrid and touch devices. Further, the company has launched Cortana, its digital assistant on the desktop, allowing users to find the right information at the right time.

Continuum is the other big addition to Windows 10, which allows for apps to be optimized perfectly for use in both touch and desktop modes. This is the singular feature that ties in Microsoft’s vision of hybrid devices that are built for productivity and portability.

Browser

Windows 10 Edge

With Windows 10, Microsoft has finally replaced Internet Explorer has has launched its new browser called Edge. The browser supports a reading mode, and even allows users to draw on web pages themselves in order to share or save for later.

Gaming

Apart from making the Xbox app available on the PC which offers an Xbox like experience, Windows 10 also bring DirectX 12 which can provide much better performance in scenarios where developers had been bound by a CPUs performance before.

Runs on Everything

Windows 10 isn’t just a desktop OS. By building on much the same platform for phones, tablets and PCs, app developers will be able to take advantage of building one app that runs perfectly on all types of devices. Further, IoT versions of Windows 10 and even wearables such as Holo Lens will be powered by Windows 10.

The Windows 10 update is now rolling out to PCs with genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 installed on them. For business customer, Windows 10 will begin rolling out from August 1, and for enterprise and education clients, the Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education updates are out.

Microsoft Is Bringing Its Virtual Assistant Cortana To India

Microsoft is sweetening the deal for many more users to upgrade to Windows 10 by making its virtual assistant Cortana available in more regions.

Windows 10 Cortana

The company has announced that Cortana will be available Japan, Australia, Canada, India, Brazil and Mexico a few months into the launch.

Cortana will also make its debut in the U.S., UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain on July 29, alongside the Windows 10 global launch.

Microsoft is trying to pique interest by bringing its virtual assistant to the desktop, hopefully sparking some consumer interest in its smartphones.

However, it’s interesting to see that Microsoft is also bringing Cortana to Android and iOS mobile device platforms, meaning users will not have to be tied down to its Windows ecosystem to use it.

To roll out Cortana in different regions, the company studied what was important in a personal assistant in that market. Based on that research, Microsoft assembled a local team of creative writers, editors, programmers and voice talent to build a relevant experience.

For example, in Japan, a high level of politeness is valued, so Cortana is programmed to bow by default.

Windows 10’s Edge Browser Will Not Support Silverlight

Microsoft has confirmed that its Edge browser that ships with Windows 10 will not support its own Silverlight web-based media player.

Microsoft Edge

The reason cited for the change was that support for ActiveX had been discontinued with Edge, removing support for Silverlight too.

Edge will not use many of the features of its older Internet Explorer browsers as the company wanted to move away from legacy technology that was holding it back.

Microsoft added that it will continue to support Silverlight but advises companies to transition to DASH/MSE/CENC/EME based designs and to follow a single, DRM-interoperable encoding workflow enabled by CENC.

Silverlight was Microsoft’s alternative to Adobe’s Flash player which was launched back in 2007. Since 2011 the company hasn’t released a new version of Silverlight and hasn’t indicated plans to do so in the future too.

Microsoft Will Roll Out Windows 10 In Waves [Insiders To Go First]

Microsoft is all set to begin rolling out Windows 10 by the end of the month but rather than dumping the update in a big pile the company is taking a more phased approach.

Windows 10

Millions of people have apparently reserved the Windows 10 update, but not all of them will receive Microsoft’s latest software on July 29 as earlier expected.

In a blog post, Windows boss Terry Myerson said that Windows Insiders will be the first to get the update, followed by users who’ve reserved the update in waves which will scale up after July 29.

User’s who’ve reserved the Windows 10 update will receive a notification once Microsoft tests the compatibility of their PC and the software has been downloaded.

For business users, Windows 10 Pro will be available alongside Windows 10 Home on July 29. Volume licensing customers will be able to download Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education on starting on August 1.

While the company declined to comment on just how many users each of these waves will consist, Microsoft did confirm that it will continually look for feedback from users to find and eventually fix any bugs that might occur.

As it turns out, you might have to wait just a little longer after all to get your hands on Windows 10, but if what we’ve seen so far is as good as it is, we could soon be playing with a game-changing piece of software.

Microsoft Could Extend Its Low-Cost ‘With Bing’ Program To Windows 10

Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be everywhere, even on low-cost PCs where the licensing cost of its software would eat into all of a manufacturer’s profits.

Windows 10

The company’s solution to this could be ‘Windows 10 with Bing’, a version of the upcoming OS that will cost manufacturers very little or nothing, which has been tipped off thanks to a leaked Intel slide.

As it was with Windows 8.1 with Bing, devices costing under $250 will most likely be the candidates for the subsidised software, while the business model would remain the same.

By pre-loading PCs with Bing, Microsoft could offset the loss of giving away Windows 10 for free from the ad revenues it would earn through customers using its search engine.

Intel Leaked Slide

While neither Intel or Microsoft has commented on the leak, it’s certain that Microsoft wants Windows 10 adoption to be blistering, which could be made possible with limited period free upgrades and other schemes.

Here Is What You Need To Know To Build/Port Apps For Windows 10

Building an app for Windows 10 is suddenly looking like a compelling offer, with Microsoft talking about getting its new software on 1 billion devices within the next 2-3 years.
Microsoft has made it a lot easier to build apps for Windows 10, with its new universal Windows app project as well as being able to port existing apps built for other platforms onto Windows.
With Windows 8.1 the company introduced Universal Windows 8 apps allowing devs to target Windows PC as well as Windows Phone with a shared codebase.
However, with Windows 10, Microsoft has unveiled Universal Windows Platform (UWP) that provides a guaranteed core API layer across devices. Devs can create a single app package that can be installed onto a wide range of devices, and a single store makes it easy to publish apps across all device types.
One Windows Platform
Microsoft has also built-in redundancies that allow developers to target just one of the device families, more than one device family or exclude support for a particular device family.
Windows Device Family
Check out Microsoft’s guide to Universal Windows Platform (UWP) Apps here.

Windows 10 Universal Apps

In order to build a Windows 10 Universal app, developers will have to download Microsoft Visual Studio and select the Windows Universal App Development Tools to get started.
Developing and testing apps on a Windows 10 device requires no developer license, instead the device just needs to be enabled for development.
The Universal Windows Program introduces new controls that adapt their appearance for different types of devices, layouts, and orientations. [Read: adaptive controls] Since most APIs have been converged into the Windows Universal SDK, most of the code will run across desktops as well as mobile, however, Microsoft has added controls to selectively run code on different devices.
Further, Microsoft has added controls for apps to handle different orientations and screen sizes, device-specific views for pages, porting existing Windows 8.1 universal apps and migrating existing Window 10 universal apps from previous releases.
A First Look at Building Windows 10 Universal Apps [Video]

Porting Apps To The Windows Runtime

One of the most exciting features for developers in Windows 10 is the redefinition of universal apps.
Whether you have a Windows Phone Silverlight app, a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) app, a “desktop” Microsoft Silverlight app, or an Android or iOS app, developers can bring them all to the Windows Runtime (WinRT).
Porting apps on to WinRT will allow developers to easily support PCs, tablets, and phones from one code base.
Here’s a handy guide on how to develop a Windows Runtime App.
Windows Phone Silverlight > WinRT
WPF and Microsoft Silverlight > WinRT
Android > WinRT
iOS > WinRT
Web > WinRT

Since Windows 10 will support apps that may not be built for rival platforms such as iOS and Android, it shouldn’t be too common for developers to not own a PC.
Devs with Macs can use an emulator of Boot Camp to run Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Visual Studio in order to build Windows Universal Apps.
How to Port Android apps to Windows Store apps [Video]
How to Port iOS apps to Windows Store apps [Video]