Windows 10 has an official, from-the-mouth-of-Microsoft, release date of July 29th.

According to an official release, Windows 10 will be made available in 190 countries on the above date simultaneously, giving pretty much the entire computing world access to the new OS.

Microsoft also re-iterated that all Windows 7 and 8.1 machines are eligible to upgrade to the new operating system for free for a year from its launch date. There was nothing in the release concerning pirated copies, so it’s likely that Microsoft won’t support them.

Should you want to be first in line to receive your upgrade to Windows 10, you’ll apparently be able to reserve a copy in the next few weeks, but of course the release didn’t cover the “how”; we’ll bring you more on that as and when we get it.

Windows 10 brings the return of the Start Menu, but with a twist: it marries the older Windows 7-style menu with the tile-based options of Windows 8’s Start Screen, as well as a host of tweaks and changes that Microsoft believes will deliver a similar Windows experience on whatever the OS happens to be running on.

We’ll be sure to get more news closer to the time, so keep checking back with us for more on Win10’s imminent release.

UPDATE: A Windows-shaped notification has appeared on all Windows 7 and 8.1 system trays that tells you Windows 10 is almost here, and allows you to reserve your copy. You need to give Microsoft your email address, and you will be notified when the OS has been downloaded and is ready to install.

The download requires 3GB of bandwidth, and you will likely need around 20GB of free space on your operating system partition in order to complete the upgrade process if experience is any guide (Microsoft doesn’t specifically mention storage requirements in the notification text). 

The notification specifies that you will get a free copy of the full version of Windows, and not a trial. 

[Image – Windows Blog]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.