Windows 10 Launch Events Come Into Focus

With the release of the operating system just weeks away, Microsoft lays out how the software giant plans to get consumers onboard.

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Microsoft Windows 10

Microsoft has revealed some of its plans for the July 29 launch of Windows 10, which include thanking the operating system's millions of testers and running upgrade workshops.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, announced today some of the events and outreach efforts surrounding the Windows 10 launch. In addition to Microsoft Store retail promotions and a new ad campaign, the company plans to recognize members of the Windows Insider early-access program and the feedback they provided leading up to release of the new operating system.

"We will celebrate the unprecedented role our biggest fans—more than 5 million Windows Insiders—played in the development of Windows 10 at special events in 13 cities around the world, including Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, Sao Paolo and New York City," Mehdi wrote in a company blog posting. "These celebrations will offer hands-on opportunities, experiential demos, entertainment and opportunities to meet the Windows team."

The Windows Insider program offers participants access to pre-release software. Featuring an in-software feedback mechanism and an online community, it helped Microsoft's developers fine-tune the OS and test its new functionality, like the new Cortana integration and Edge browser, well before its release to the public.

To ease the upgrade process for consumers, Microsoft teamed with leading retailers around the globe, including Best Buy, Staples and Walmart. "Tech Bench services will provide support for those upgrading to Windows 10, data migration services to help people move files from old PCs to new PCs, and experience stations where people can try out Windows 10," Mehdi said. The company is also planning free workshops in its own Microsoft Store retail locations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The Windows 10 launch also kicks off a new charitable initiative called Upgrade Your World.

"We are partnering with 10 global and 100 local nonprofits to help them upgrade the world," Mehdi said. "A total $10 million cash investment will be made in support of their missions and to promote awareness of their causes."

Nine global nonprofits are participating in Upgrade Your World, namely CARE,, The Global Poverty Project, Keep a Child Alive, Malala Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Pencils of Promise, Save the Children and Special Olympics. Voting for a tenth nonprofit begins on July 29. "In addition to these global nonprofits, starting in September, we'll crowdsource nominations for 10 nonprofits in each of the following 10 countries: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States," Medhi added.

Finally, the Windows 10 ad blitz is set to kick off next Monday. "Beginning July 20 in the U.S. and July 29 globally, the first wave of TV and digital ads will highlight how Windows 10 delivers a more human way to do—brought to life with features like Windows Hello and Microsoft Edge," Medhi said.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...