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- Windows 10 (MSFT +0.1%) "will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages," OS chief Terry Myerson writes in a blog post. COO Kevin Turner previously said Windows 10 would be available in in late summer or early fall.
- Meanwhile, during a talk with Reuters, Myerson stated Microsoft will be "upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10." He asserts Microsoft's goal with the initiative is to "re-engage" with Chinese Windows users, a huge percentage of whom have pirated copies.
- To further its Chinese Windows reach, Microsoft has struck distribution deals with Lenovo, Tencent, and Qihoo; Lenovo will offer Windows 10 "upgrade services" at 2,500 service centers and retail stores, while Tencent and Qihoo will provide the OS to the hundreds of millions of users of their Web services.
- In January, Microsoft promised Windows 10, which contains many features meant to win over enterprises that shunned Windows 8, would be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. The company has suggested it will rely more on services to monetize Windows (already free or discounted for smaller/cheaper hardware) going forward.
- Microsoft is coming off a December quarter in which its Windows OEM Pro and non-Pro revenue both fell 13% Y/Y, thanks largely to discounts and slowing business PC sales. Intel's Q1 warning (blamed on business weakness and lower-than-expected customer inventories) suggests PC demand has remained soft thus far in 2015.
- Also: Myerson says Microsoft is launching a free version of Windows 10 for small-footprint embedded/IoT devices. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is among the early supporters, launching a development kit that features its mid-range Snapdragon 410 processor.
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