Today at the renewed Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) summit in Shenzhen, China, I had the honor of speaking about Windows 10 and the innovation and opportunity it offers our valued partners. China is a global epicenter for innovation and we’re excited to be working with the area’s leading hardware and software companies to develop ground-breaking devices and consumer experiences that will help shape the future of Windows 10.
We continue to make great development progress and shared today that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Windows has always been global with more than 1.5 billion users around the world and here in China hundreds of millions of PCs operate Windows today. That’s why it was particularly fun to show our latest global innovation, Windows Hello, on stage for the first time, and to feature a number of Windows 10 customizations for the China market, such as Cortana in Mandarin.
Upgrading Millions of Customers with Lenovo, Tencent and Qihu 360
On January 21, I shared our commitment to offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for hundreds of millions of customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 for the first year after it is released.
A key way we will make the upgrade experience to Windows 10 easy is through strong partnerships with technology leaders. Today, we shared new partnerships with several world-leading companies to deliver a seamless Windows 10 upgrade experience to our customers in China. Strategic partnerships with Lenovo, Tencent and Qihu 360 will help Windows 10 reach hundreds of millions of customers in China and spur adoption of Windows 10 worldwide.
- Lenovo, one of the world’s leading PC manufacturers, announced they will offer Windows 10 upgrade services at 2,500 service centers and select retail stores in China when the Windows 10 upgrade is available. This will help customers quickly and easily upgrade their new or existing Windows devices to Windows 10. Lenovo also announced their commitment to build Windows phones, to be available in mid-year 2015 via China Mobile.
- Tencent, the leading social networking and gaming services company in China, announced it will offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to its customers on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in China, and include QQ, Tencent Video and Tencent PC Manager in the Windows 10 free upgrade pack. Tencent will create a Windows 10 universal app for their flagship QQ app, which has over 800 million customers in China, and bring their most popular PC games, such as “League of Legends,” “Cross Fire” and “Dungeon & Fighter” to Windows 10 and the new Windows store.
- Qihu 360, a leading internet security company in China, announced it will bring Windows 10 for free to their customers in China through seamless upgrades. Qihu 360, with over 500 million customers on Windows PCs, will enable the Windows 10 upgrade with just a few clicks with accelerated download speeds.
- Through a new program with Xiaomi, one of the top smartphone distributors in the world, a select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users will be invited to help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year. These power users will have the opportunity to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview – installing it and providing their feedback to Microsoft.
Hardware Innovations Enabled by Windows 10
One of the predominant goals of WinHEC is to showcase opportunities Windows 10 presents to hardware and device manufacturers. Windows Hello is one of the new innovations that I was excited to show onstage for the first time.
Windows Hello* will make Windows 10 more personal by providing instant access to your devices through biometric authentication – using your face, iris or fingerprint to unlock your devices – with technology that is significantly safer than traditional passwords. We’re working closely with our hardware partners to deliver Windows Hello-capable devices that will ship with Windows 10. We are thrilled that all OEM systems incorporating the Intel RealSense F200 sensor will fully support Windows Hello, including automatic sign-in to Windows. You can read more about Windows Hello here.
Today, we also shared how Windows 10 will support today’s maker boards, enabling makers to do amazing things with Windows in the fast-growing Internet of Things space.
For the first time, a new version of Windows for small footprint IoT devices will be available – for free – when Windows 10 launches. Windows 10 will offer versions of Windows for a diverse set of IoT devices, ranging from powerful devices like ATMs and ultrasound machines, to resource constrained devices like gateways. Through key partnerships with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Intel, Qualcomm and others, we will provide great options for commercial devices builders, hobbyists and students.
We also introduced the Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C to the Windows 10 device family. The Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C is the first Windows 10 developer board with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and a smartphone-class Snapdragon 410 chipset.
Windows 10 is the only platform that supports innovation across such a broad family of hardware and we are committed to investing in the success of our partners and supporting their development activities.
I can’t wait to see how amazing companies around the world will continue to innovate with devices running Windows 10. Working together I know we can create some incredible experiences with Windows 10 that will truly delight our customers.
* Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors.