We've tested the Insider preview builds and scheduled our upgrades. Now, after months of anticipation, the launch of Windows 10 is barely less than two weeks away.
Windows 10 development has involved a massive group effort from Microsoft employees and Windows Insiders. The growing pool of testers, which now exceeds 5 million people, has provided feedback to shape the OS and will continue to inform changes after launch day.
The Insider crew will be first to receive Windows 10 on July 29. When they confirm the system's compatibility, Microsoft will begin to send upgrade notifications to customers who have reserved their free download of the OS.
It's in celebration of Windows Insiders, and the many fans who helped build Windows 10, that Microsoft is launching a massive advertising and online marketing campaign.
The "newest generation of Windows fans" will be the core of a year-long initiative that will include events in cities across the globe.
"From the beginning, Windows 10 has been unique -- built with feedback from our fans, delivered as a service and offered as a free upgrade," wrote Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of Microsoft's Windows and devices group, in a Windows blog post. "Our approach to launch is also unique -- focused on a more aspirational goal, inspired by Windows 10."
Microsoft usually hosts one extravagant bash to mark a Windows launch, but this year's events will take place in New York, London, Sydney, Madrid, Sao Paolo, Berlin, Dubai, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, and New Delhi. Attendees can participate in hands-on demos and meet members of the Windows 10 team.
The celebrations will extend to more than 110 select Microsoft retail stores in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visitors will have access to in-store workshops, answer-desk services, pop-up demo experiences, giveaways, and prizes.
In an effort to avoid upgrade snafus, Microsoft has partnered with global retailers including Staples, Best Buy, Crome, Walmart, Yodobashi, and Yamada to help consumers with the process. Retailers will provide support for Windows 10 upgrades, including data migration services in switching from old PCs to new ones, and places where people can try Windows 10 before they buy it.
If you don't see the Windows 10 marketing content online, you'll probably see it on television. New TV ads are intended to emphasize how Windows 10 will enable "a more human way to do" through features like Windows Hello and Microsoft Edge. The new "upgrade your world" initiative aligns with the Microsoft core ambition of enabling more personal computing, which we've been hearing about from CEO Satya Nadella over the past few months.
As part of the campaign, Microsoft also plans to donate a total of $10 million cash investments to 10 global and 100 local nonprofit organizations.