Windows 10 Anniversary Update is now available, and it brings with it a ton of new features for users of the Windows 10 platform. Unfortunately, with the general release of that update, was the end of the year long free upgrade promotion of Windows 10. Now users who want to upgrade to the new OS will have to shell out either $119.99 for the Home version or $199.99 for the Pro version. However analysts believe this doesn’t have to be the case, with consumers vying for another option.
Many thought Windows 10 would be the big shot in the foot that the PC market needed to turn around, with sales steadily on the decline since quarters past. Even IDC expects for shipments to continue their decline into 2018. And with Windows 10 free for the first year, this ought to make since as why buy a new PC running Windows 10 when you can nab the upgrade for free on your Windows 8.1, 7, or even XP device. The only people who would’ve purchased a new Windows 10 device would’ve been those people in the market for a new PC, as Windows 10, while new and refreshing, didn’t offer enough features to justify new hardware.
“The PC market continues to struggle as we wait for replacements to accelerate, along with some return of spending from phones, tablets, and other IT,” said Loren Loverde, vice president at IDC.”
But new features available with the Anniversary Update can definitely drive sales of newer devices, such as Windows Ink, which requires touchscreen devices that support stylus input, or Xbox Play Anywhere, where a user can buy a game and play it on either Xbox or a Windows 10 PC, which would be better suited with newer devices with better GPUs. But its not only the update features that make it a viable option, as players in the PC field are putting their chip in Windows 10’s basket. Silicon manufacturer Intel will begin shipping its latest chip, code-named Kaby Lake, 3rd quarter 2016, and it only supports Windows 10. In addition to this, alot of big name OEMs are migrating new PCs to Windows 10, like Lenovo, who “will migrate fully to Windows 10 as the operating system on new systems,” while till supporting Windows 7, 8, and 8.1.
A Lenovo spokeswoman stated in an email, “As the Windows 10 Anniversary Update begins on August 2, 2016, we are fully committed to shipping all Lenovo PCs with Windows 10 across both our consumer and commercial product lines, including the multimode Yoga convertibles, legendary ThinkPads, Y series gaming devices and Miix detachables,”.
If a leaked Microsoft timeline is to be believed, sales of PCs with Windows 7 Professional are expected to cease Oct 31st, making Windows 10 the default for most new devices. HP says it will be sticking to that deadline, after which its PCs will ship with only Windows 10. Lenovo is also making that transition. Dell offers more Windows 7 models than the other manufacturers do, but have been transition to Windows 10 devices as well.