Windows 10 Retails For $199 Pro, $119 Home

Microsoft unveils pricing for the Home and Pro versions of the Windows 10 operating system, both due to arrive July 29.
Windows 10 Patch Strategy: IT Dream Or Nightmare?
Windows 10 Patch Strategy: IT Dream Or Nightmare?
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A day after announcing the official launch date for Microsoft's latest version of its operating system, Windows 10 -- July 29, if you hadn't heard -- the company unveiled pricing for the two versions it is putting out on the market.

The Home version of the software will cost $119, while the Pro edition will retail for $199, according to a report from Cnet.

Microsoft is making the upgrade free to customers who already have Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 installed on their PCs or tablets -- an offer the software giant said is good for a whole year.

The company has yet to announce a mobile edition of the operating system, though one is expected to be released later this year. The official name of the smartphone version is Windows 10 Mobile, and Microsoft has been more guarded about its details compared to the full version of Windows 10.

How much the release of Windows 10 will help the global PC market -- both in the enterprise and with consumers -- is still very much open to debate. After a strong finish in 2014, thanks to many finally upgrading off of Windows XP, the overall PC market declined about 6.7% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2015, according to data released by IDC on April 9.

In a statement, IDC analyst Rajani Singh wrote: "The upcoming launch of Windows 10 will consolidate the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In addition to the free upgrade for consumers for a year after the release, Windows 10 should be a net positive as there is pent-up demand for replacements of older PCs."

Microsoft also noted enterprise customers with active Software Assurance subscription in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of the offer.

Users can reserve their free upgrade in the Get Windows 10 App, and once they reserve, Windows 10 will download when available, though users can cancel their reservation at any time.

The company has told customers looking to upgrade to plan for about an hour for the installation.

"Newer devices may only take 20 minutes, and older devices may take more than an hour," the company explained in a FAQ section of its website. "You'll need to download the installation files before you begin. If you reserve, we'll take care of downloading those files for you and let you know when you are ready to get started."

[Read more about Windows 10 security.]

Among the major features of the software upgrade are Cortana, a digital assistant named after an artificial intelligence character in Microsoft's Halo video game series, and Edge, an all-new browser, which boasts features like the ability to write or type notes directly on Web pages and share them with others.

The Cortana-enabled browser also gives users access to actions like making reservations or reading reviews without leaving the current page.

Windows 10 comes with a selection of built-in apps like Maps, Photos, Mail & Calendar, Music, and Video, which all boast updated designs, and these apps use OneDrive to back up information and sync seamlessly across multiple Windows 10 devices.

Meanwhile, gaming fans will see Xbox Live and the integrated Xbox App added to Windows 10, giving gamers the ability to capture, edit, and share gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with others across devices.

Xbox fans can also play games on their PC, streamed directly from the Xbox One console to Windows 10 tablets or PCs within the home.

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