Windows 10 is a major release of Microsoft's Windows NT operating system. It is the direct successor to Windows 8.1, which was released nearly two years earlier. It was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015, and later to retail 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. Microsoft has stated that extended support for Windows 10 editions which are not in the Long-Term Servicing Channel will end on October 14, 2025.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, and is by now most used version in virtually all countries. By January 2018, Windows 10 surpassed Windows 7 as the most popular version of Windows worldwide. As of August 2022, Windows 10 is estimated to have a 72% share of Windows PCs, still 6.2× the share of its successor Windows 11 (and 6.0× of Windows 7). The share has been declining from a January 2022 peak of 82%, since Windows 11, which is now the second most popular Windows version in many countries. Windows 10 has a 58% share of all PCs (the rest being other Windows editions and other operating systems such as macOS and Linux), and a 22% share 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 32-bit processors (IA-32 and ARMv7-based) and devices with BIOS firmware. Its successor, Windows 11, requires a device that uses UEFI firmware and a 64-bit processor in any supported architecture (x86-64 for x86 and ARMv8 for ARM).
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