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Windows 10 is launched worldwide – a new era for Microsoft?

Well, today is the huge day for Microsoft, as the official launch of Windows 10 kicks off globally, and Redmond attempts to put the sour memories of Windows 8 firmly behind it.

Windows launch celebrations are occurring in 13 different countries today (chief executive Satya Nadella is leading the fan celebrations in Kenya), and the OS is live as a free upgrade in 190 countries for those coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8 (Microsoft is hoping there will be plenty of the former).

The new Windows Store also opens today, and the Windows Software Development Kit is now available.

So what can you expect from Windows 10? A huge raft of new features are, of course, on board, including Cortana on the desktop (the digital assistant ported over from Windows smartphones), and the Edge browser which is shouldering Internet Explorer out of the way (though it won't have all its features until the autumn).

There's also Continuum, which ensures the OS transitions smoothly between tablet/touch and desktop modes on hybrid machines (unlike Windows 8), and new apps including touch-friendly Office applications, and the likes of Microsoft's new music app, Groove.

Things have also been tightened up on the security front, although not everyone appreciates the removal of the option to choose whether or not Windows updates are installed (they are now automatically piped through with Windows 10 Home with no questions asked).

Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, commented: "A new era of Windows starts today. From the beginning, Windows 10 has been unique – built with feedback from over 5 million fans, delivered as a service and offered as a free upgrade.

"Windows 10 delivers on our more personal computing vision, with a natural, mobile and trusted experience. Along with our partners, we're excited to deliver the best Windows ever, which will empower people and organisations around the world to do great things."

Doubtless there will be quite a clamour to get Windows 10 today, and the wise course of action would be to wait until the dust settles a bit, and Microsoft’s delivery system beds in.

There are at least 10 good reasons to upgrade, though…

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Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.