PC makers disclose plans to bring Windows 10 to PCs

Dell will start shipping its first PCs preloaded with Windows 10 on July 29

Microsoft hopes a new start menu will get users to upgrade starting from July 29

Microsoft hopes a new start menu will get users to upgrade starting from July 29

With Microsoft ready to ship Windows 10 on July 29, PC makers are disclosing their plans to make the OS available to customers in new laptops and desktops or as a free OS upgrade from Windows 7 and 8.1.

Dell will ship its first PCs pre-loaded with Windows 10 on July 29, said Raymond Wah, vice president of consumer product marketing at the company, during an interview at Computex on Tuesday.

The company wants to roll out laptops and desktops as quickly as possible so back-to-school buyers can get hold of the new OS, Wah said. Microsoft is providing a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 for one year, which Dell plans to make a snap through customer support and tutorial videos.

Dell has already talked about a Venue 11 Pro tablet with a USB Type-C port and Windows 10 that it will ship in August or September.

While some may see a benefit in Windows 10 pre-loaded in PCs, Hewlett-Packard said its 2015 portfolio of Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs is ready for the new OS. It's safe to buy a PC even now, and then upgrade for free to Windows 10 on July 29. HP has set up a web page to facilitate the Windows 10 upgrade process.

"We didn't know exactly when Windows 10 would ship, so we planned our entire 2015 portfolio to be Windows 10 ready," said Mike Nash, vice president of product management for consumer PCs, in a blog entry on Tuesday.

HP will update the 2015 products to Windows 10 after it ships, but declined to comment when it would ship new PCs pre-loaded with Windows 10. At Computex the company will show off new devices with Windows 10, including a tablet and a detachable hybrid that is more a tablet than a laptop. The company is also expected to launch back-to-school laptops pre-loaded with Windows 10, which could start shipping on July 29 or soon after.

Other PC makers have hinted about their plans for Windows 10 PCs and tablets, but haven't shared concrete release dates. Lenovo has said its ThinkPad 10 tablets based on Intel's Atom chip code-named Cherry Trail will ship with Windows 10 in August. Acer, which is eager to move on from Windows 8, has said it will release PCs soon after release of the new OS. Toshiba said it would launch laptops based on the new OS later in the summer, according to comments provided to PC World.

There are many advantages to the new OS, the PC makers said. For Dell's Wah, the return of the Start menu, biometric authentication and the Edge browser will make PC usage fun. HP's Nash is looking forward to the Cortana personal assistant and the ability for applications to work across devices.

For those not buying a new PC but only wanting to purchase Windows 10 software, Microsoft has priced Windows 10 Home at US$119 and Windows 10 Professional for $199.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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