Windows 10 devices

Microsoft has given details of the consumer features on Windows 10 at a briefing in January at its headquarters in Redmond. See also: Windows 8 vs Windows 10 comparison.

Although Microsoft gave us plenty of new details on the upcoming operating system, possibly the biggest takeaway is that Window 10 will be free. For the first year, at least, users of Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 7 will be offered a free software upgrade to the new platform. Read: Windows 10 UK release date, price, features UK.

"This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost. With Windows 10, the experience will evolve and get even better over time," said Microsoft in a blog post.

Windows 10 will run across a number of different devices, screen sizes and processors. That includes Xbox One and Windows Phone so it will be a simple case of one operating system no matter what the device. Find out: How to install Windows 10 now.

Microsoft added: "Windows 10 is the first step to an era of more personal computing. This vision framed our work on Windows 10, where we are moving Windows from its heritage of enabling a single device – the PC – to a world that is more mobile, natural and grounded in trust. We believe your experiences should be mobile – not just your devices."

Check out the 10 best new features in Windows 10 and Windows 10 screenshots.

We already knew that Windows 10 would herald the return of the traditional Start Menu but we now have confirmation that Cortana will be baked into the OS. Other new features include Universal apps, Xbox streaming, new notifications, unified settings and a new browser codenamed 'Project Spartan'.

There is some bad news though, as Microsoft has confirmed that owners of the Surface RT won't get upgrade to Windows 10. Instead, the firm is working on an update which will bring some of the functionality, according to The Verge.