Microsoft has officially confirmed a July 29 release date for Windows 10, confirming rumours that began circulating back in April after AMD CEO Lisa Su let slip a date during her company's earnings call.
In fact, the news comes via enthusiastic, still-slightly-creepy 'digital assistant' Cortana. She's basically a more advanced version of that smug little paper-clip git that wouldn't shut up when you were trying to use Microsoft Office.
Cortana is one of a "range of innovations" coming with Windows 10, along with a new Office 2016 desktop suite, Xbox connectivity, and, most importantly if you're a PC gamer, DirectX 12. The next version of the API will feature "a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization. In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects."
In layman's terms; DX12 will make games look pretty nice, and will apparently improve performance on a range of systems. Those of you running Windows 7 or 8.1 may notice a new icon in the tray at the bottom right of your screen, which looks a bit like some kind of horrible malware. Don't worry, it's not. When clicked, it will allow you to you reserve your free upgrade to Windows 10.
As for those who need to buy a new copy, Microsoft hasn't yet officially revealed the price, but PC World reports that retailer Newegg listed the Windows 10 Home version for $109, and Windows 10 Professional version for $149. No details were posted regarding what each version contains.