Windows 10 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It is the successor to Windows 8.1, which was released nearly two years earlier, and itself was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015, and broadly released for the general public on July 29, 2015. Windows 10 was made available for download via MSDN and TechNet, as a free upgrade for retail copies of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users via the Windows Store, and to Windows 7 users via Windows Update. Windows 10 receives new builds on an ongoing basis, which are available at no additional cost to users, in addition to additional test builds of Windows 10, which are available to Windows Insiders. Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of extended support.
|A version of the Windows NT operating system|
|OS family||Microsoft Windows|
|Released to |
|July 15, 2015|
|July 29, 2015|
|Latest release||21H2 (10.0.19044.1387) (November 22, 2021)|
|Latest preview||21H2 (10.0.19044.1387) (November 22, 2021)|
|Marketing target||Personal computing|
|Available in||110 languages (Specific language packs included on the device depend on the mobile operator (for cellular connected devices) or device manufacturer. Additional language packs are available for download on the Microsoft Store, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support.)|
|Platforms||IA-32, x86-64, ARMv7, ARM64|
|Kernel type||Hybrid (Windows NT kernel)|
Universal Windows Platform
Windows Subsystem for Linux
NTVDM (IA-32 only)
|Windows shell (graphical)|
|License||Trialware, Microsoft Software Assurance, MSDN subscription, Microsoft Imagine|
|Preceded by||Windows 8.1 (2013)|
|Succeeded by||Windows 11 (2021)|
|All editions except "LTSB/LTSC" variants supported until October 14, 2025, as long as they install the latest feature upgrades. All LTSB/LTSC IoT variants, and all LTSB/LTSC variants 2019 and older, are supported for 10 years after their release date. 2021 and later LTSC (non-IoT) variants supported for 5 years after their release date. See § Support lifecycle for details.|
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Windows 10 received generally positive reviews upon its original release. Critics praised Microsoft's decision to provide the desktop-oriented interface in line with previous versions of Windows, contrasting the tablet-oriented approach of Windows 8, although Windows 10's touch-oriented user interface mode was criticized for containing regressions upon the touch-oriented interface of its predecessor. Critics also praised the improvements to Windows 10's bundled software over Windows 8.1, Xbox Live integration, as well as the functionality and capabilities of the Cortana personal assistant and the replacement of Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge. However, media outlets have been critical of the changes to operating system behaviors, including mandatory update installation, privacy concerns over data collection performed by the OS for Microsoft and its partners, and adware-like tactics used to promote the operating system on its release.
Microsoft initially aimed to have Windows 10 installed on over one billion devices within three years of its release; that goal was ultimately reached almost five years after release on March 16, 2020. By January 2018, Windows 10 surpassed Windows 7 as the most popular version of Windows worldwide. As of June 2021[update], it is estimated that 79% of Windows PCs, 58% of all PCs (the rest being older Windows versions and other operating systems such as macOS and Linux), and 24% of all devices (including mobile, tablet and console) are running Windows 10. On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 10's successor, Windows 11, which was released on October 5, 2021.
Windows 10 is the final version of Windows which supports IA-32 and ARMv7-based processors (also known as 32-bit processors). Its successor, Windows 11, requires a 64-bit processor in any supported architecture (x86-64/AMD64 for x86 and ARMv8 for ARM).