Microsoft Corporation has reportedly decided to provide its latest and final Windows-based operating system, Windows 10, through USB, which could mean game over for the installation disks. As confirmed by the company, all users of authentic Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 will be allowed to upgrade the operating system on their PCs if they choose to. The upgrade will be free for these users and they can download the latest OS. As of now, users of authentic operating systems are being prompted to reserve their upgrade to Windows 10 which will take place after the highly anticipated OS will be released worldwide on July 29, 2015.
Users who are not approved for receiving the free upgrade will need to buy the new operating system. It has been reported that Microsoft Corporation might offer USB drives which would contain all the important installation files for Windows 10, and this could mean game over for the Windows disks and DVDs. The USB drives would replace the disks and DVDs for sales in stores, though it is being speculated that at the beginning, Microsoft Corporation may distribute Windows 10 on DVDs as well as USB flash drives for sale once it becomes available on July 29. Prices for different versions of Windows 10 have been revealed and users can choose the version that they would like to run on their PCs depending on their choice.
The listings for USB flash drives for Windows 10 were first spotted on two online stores in Canada named PCCanada and CompSource. The listings on PCCanada stated Microsoft Windows 10 Home 32-Bit/64-Bit USB [KW9-00016] for $134.49, while CompSource mentioned Microsoft Windows 10 Home 32-Bit/64-Bit English 1 License USB Flash Drive KW9-00016 for $124. However, these are Canadian prices of the operating system as Microsoft Corporation has announced that Windows 10 Home would be priced at $119 and Windows 10 Pro would cost $199 in the U.S. for new users. It is also clear that the same USB flash drive could be used for 64-Bit and 32-Bit versions of Windows 10. The listings on the websites also informed that the Home and Pro versions of Windows 10 would be available on USB flash drives and sticks for sale. The pricing for Windows 10 in countries like India and other regions has not been announced yet.
Earlier this week, it was declared by Microsoft Corporation that the Windows 10 Insider Preview users will be able to retain the genuine and activated copies of Windows 10 only if they opt-in for pre-release updates in future, on either Slow or Fast cycle. Users will have to ensure that they update to the latest preview build versions of the OS or else, the pre-release software license of their build will expire. For users who decide to opt-out of the updates, their builds will get deactivated as per one of the terms under Windows Insider Program. They would then be eligible for free Windows 10 upgrade if they were using the authentic and licensed version of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, while all new users including those using Windows Vista or XP, will have to purchase the software to upgrade.
The official retail packaging of the OS has not yet been unveiled by Microsoft Corporation and the Canadian websites have not displayed any picture for the product. As per other reports, a German website named WinFuture stated that (via Windows Central), Microsoft Corporation will sell Windows 10 Home and Pro SKUs in USB flash drives along with the regular DVD disk sales. It was also stated that the USB flash drive version of the operating system will allow users to install and license the OS only on a single PC.
By July 29, when the new OS is released, Microsoft Corporation is bound to share more details about its retail plans for Windows 10 as well as unveil its packaging. The company has not yet confirmed these reports and gradually phasing out DVDs seems to be a better idea which they might choose to implement. Meanwhile, it has been reported that Microsoft Corporation has decided to provide Windows 10 through USB flash drives, which could mean game over for the installation disks.
By Ankur Sinha
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The Inquirer-Windows 10: Microsoft to enter 21st century with distribution via USB drive