Microsoft unveils Windows 10

<p>CEO Satya Nadella has officially launched the firm’s latest software.</p>

Microsoft has officially launched its latest software today (July 29th) – Windows 10 – which marks a "new era" for personal computing, according to Microsoft's chief executive Satya Nadella.

This is a muliti-platform, able to power PCs, smartphones, tablets, games consoles and wearables. It will be offered as a free upgrade to most consumers, but companies will have to pay for their version.

Speaking exclusively to BBC News, Satya Nadella said: "Windows 10 is a huge milestone for us as a company, and quite frankly the industry." He said the software will be the last launch of this kind, with Microsoft gradually updating the software for free over months and years.

A new digital personal assistant

He added he hoped features like digital personal assistant Cortana would set Windows 10 apart. The Internet-connected service, similar to Apple's Siri and Google's own Google Now service, will be the first assistant for PC users across the globe. 

Based on the advanced artificial intelligence character in the Microsoft-owned video game saga Halo, Cortana lets users interact with a device by talking to it, asking to set reminders, respond to text messages and hear contextual information gleaned from emails and search results, like flight times, sports scores and news headlines.

Mr Nadella argued that the upcoming reality headset Hololens, which is placed over a user's eyes and displays graphics in their surroundings, would also maintain the relevance of Windows 10.

$3.2 billion loss in Q2

The company is hoping that Windows 10 will help reverse its fortune, after it posted its biggest quarterly loss of $3.2 billion (£2 billion) in Q2.

Microsoft recently announced it is cutting a further 7,800 jobs as it restructures its Nokia mobile phone unit bought last year for €5.44 billion (£3.8 billion), a year after it axed 18,000 jobs from the unit.

In a memo to staff, Satya Nadella said: "I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family."

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