Microsoft will be releasing Windows 10 to the public in the coming months, the software maker has confirmed. Exiting its current Windows Insider technical preview program sometime this summer, the latest iteration of the operating system will be shipping in 190 countries around the world in 111 languages, with Microsoft also announcing a greater push into China.
Revealed at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) summit by Microsoft executive vice president for Windows Terry Myerson, Microsoft will be working with Lenovo to offer Windows 10 service upgrades at 2,500 service centers and stores in China, as well as an intention to build Windows 10 smartphones by mid-2015.
Tencent will also be helping provide the upgrade to its customers, with the company also pledging to bring its QQ messaging app to Windows 10 as a universal app, and will bring a number of PC games to the Windows Store in the future. Internet security company Qihu 360 has signed up to help distribute the update, and hardware producer Xiaomi will be testing Windows 10 on its devices with some of its customers before a later release.
Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for users of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 for the first year of its release. Notable changes in the new release include added biometric security, the Cortana virtual assistant, social functions ported from the Xbox One, and the return of the Start Menu.