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Microsoft announced the launch date for Windows 10 on Monday. Upgrading to the major new edition of its operating system will be free for most consumers with a Windows 8 or Windows 7 machine. (Microsoft skipped a version 9.)
Highlights include the voice-synthesized Cortana personal assistant app, a revamped Web browser called Edge and the inclusion of Xbox games.
Microsoft didn't announce a price for those ineligible for a free upgrade. Nor did it say when the smartphone version would be available.
Windows 10 represents Microsoft's first attempt to build an operating system that looks and feels the same regardless of the size of the screen or the type of device being used. Smartphones, Xboxes, tablets, laptops, desktops and even augmented reality goggles will all be capable of running Windows 10. Microsoft wants users to be able to start a spreadsheet from a laptop then pick up where they left off if they switch to a smartphone.
But the features it's touting most are Cortana, Microsoft's competitor to Apple's Siri, and Edge, the new browser. Cortana can answer questions and take down reminders. Edge lets people take notes on Web pages and read online in a clean layout.
A new Xbox app makes console games playable on laptops and desktops on the same network.
New computers going on sale July 29 or later will have Windows 10 pre-installed.
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