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Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Release Date: July 29

Windows 10 is a free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users -- representing a big shift for Microsoft.
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Microsoft has teased its upcoming Windows 10 operating system for months, and on Monday the company finally revealed the release date: July 29.

Windows 10 is Microsoft's first new operating system release since 2012's radically redesigned Windows 8, which alienated some users who preferred the classic Windows setup. Microsoft took the widespread complaints to heart: Windows 10 includes classic features like a start menu and taskbar as well as the "live tile" program icons found in Windows 8.

Related: Sorry, Pirates: Microsoft Says No Free Windows 10 For You

Overall, Windows 10 is designed to combine the "familiarity" of older Windows versions with the touchscreen-optimized Windows 8 features, Microsoft executives said during a Windows 10 preview last year.

Despite some focus on the old-school Windows features, Windows 10 represents a big strategic shift for Microsoft: It will be a free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users through the first year after its release, as the company announced in January.

For new users, Microsoft confirmed to NBC News on Monday that pricing will be the same for Windows 10 as it was for Windows 8.1: $119 for the consumer-focused Windows 10 Home, and $199 for the Pro version.

Microsoft had previously approached Windows like a product: something customers must buy as a one-off every time there's a new model. But the free-upgrade scheme reflects Microsoft's new positioning of Windows as a service that the company will upgrade for customers as needed over time.