Microsoft has released its official operating system prices and confirmed that Windows 10 Pro would sell at $199 and Windows 10 Home would cost $119. After running the system and the user needs to upgrade from the Home edition to the Pro edition, customers will be shelling out $99 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro Pack. All copies of the operating system will be available in retail stores and online.

These prices match the cost of predecessor Windows 8 in its first release. Currently, retailer Newegg is selling 64-bit Windows 8.1 Home at $100 while 64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro costs $140. If you're planning to build a new desktop, or have a unit that runs on an older system, it's sensible to purchase a copy of Windows 8.1 now.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 would be offered as a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 tablet and PC users. According to NetMarketShare, the two Windows versions power 74.1 percent of all PCs in the market.

For those qualified for the free upgrade, Microsoft will only provide the rightful version of the software for the system installed on the user's devices. That means if you have Windows 7 Home, you would receive a Windows 10 Home upgrade, while if you're a Windows 8.1 Pro user, you'd get Windows 10 Pro. Microsoft has released instructions for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to reserve an upgrade from a notification icon in their task bar.

In January, Microsoft announced that it would be providing a free upgrade for its flagship operating system — like its rival Apple. The Washington-based software giant revealed a grand plan to have Windows 10 installed on 1 billion devices in three years.

This may have given the impression that the company was making a critical pricing change in software. Microsoft has however been transparent from the start that the free upgrade for eligible users would be offered until July 29, 2016 — exactly one year from the initial launching date. Microsoft has been firm that the pricing for single licenses would remain with previous releases. The notion that future versions of Windows would be free may be far-fetched, as Microsoft seems to be following the current pricing model.

On the Newegg website – which seemingly leaked the release date and pricing information last weekend – the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro are priced at $110 and $150, respectively, but the retailer may soon reflect Microsoft's official pricing.

Windows 10's new features include Cortana, a digital personal assistant similar to Google Now or Apple's Siri, an all-new Internet browser and a restructured Start Menu.

Photo: okubax | Flickr

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