While nothing Microsoft has planned can likely top the Rolling Stones kicking off the launch of Windows 95 — Microsoft reportedly paid the Rolling Stones $3 million to use the song “Start Me Up” in the advertising campaign — the company is hard at work revving its engines to heavily promote Windows 10 later this month. Windows 10 will become available starting July 29, but the company will begin heavily promoting the operating system in the United States July 20.
On that date, Microsoft will begin running its first TV and online ads promoting the successor to Windows 8.1. Microsoft indicates that its advertising campaign “will highlight how Windows 10 delivers a more human way to do – brought to life with features like Windows Hello and Microsoft Edge.”
The festivities will spread globally on launch day, with Microsoft holding special events in Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, Sao Paolo, and New York City. Microsoft Stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico will also get in on the Windows 10 action with pop-up demos, giveaways, prizes, and free in-store workshops that will help newbies to the Windows 10 experience “get the most out of Windows 10.”
In total, Windows 10 will be available in 190 countries beginning July 29, with the majority of customers being able to take advantage of a free upgrade with valid Windows 7 and Windows 8 licenses or receive the operating system with the purchase of a new notebook, convertible, or desktop computer. Those running Windows XP or Windows Vista will have to pay $119 to upgrade to Windows 10 Home or $199 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
Over the weekend, we were treated to renders of retail box editions of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. But given how quickly companies are moving to digital means of software distribution, this could very well be the last version of Windows that will be available in a cardboard box (or plastic container for those that purchased Windows Vista and Windows 7 at the retail level).