It's July 29. The Windows 10 rollout officially has begun.Windows Insiders are getting the final (Build 10240) bits and a bunch of recent updates and fixes downloaded to their PCs starting today. It may still take weeks for everyone who has "reserved a copy" of Windows 10 to get it, Microsoft officials have warned. My ZDNet colleague Ed Bott has a helpful Windows 10 frequently asked questions (FAQ) post worth checking out.
But that's not the only thing happening today. What else is going on?
MSDN and BizSpark get the RTM bits: Finally -- after asking Microsoft officials this question for months (not kidding), we have an answer. Windows 10 is available as of today, July 29, on MSDN and on BizSpark. Product keys are required unless users are doing volume-license activation, according to Microsoft.
ISOs, ISOs, ISOs: Clean installers, rejoice. Windows 10 upgrade media is available for download via http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 on July 29. Volume Licensing media will be available on the Volume License Service Center (along with KMS and MAK keys) on August 1, as will the Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education editions.
New deployment tools are on their way: The Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) should is set for July 29 availability. The new Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 Update 1 release will be "in early August, as soon as the team finishes their testing with the final Windows 10 bits," Microsoft execs said. The next version of System Center Configuration Manager is due out in Q4 of this year, as Microsoft officials have said previously, and will provide full support for Windows 10 deployment, upgrade and management. System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 and SP2 already provide "full compatibility with existing features for Windows 10 deployment, upgrade and management," a spokesperson added.
Universal Office apps for Windows 10: As of July 29, the touch-friendly Office universal apps (Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile and OneNote Mobile) are all available for download from the Windows Store. These apps can be used on any and all Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Basic functionality (such as reading and sharing) for these apps is available free, but more advanced capabilities (document authoring, editing, etc.) requires an Office 365 subscription on any device with a screen size of greater than 10.1 inches, as is the case with the universal Office apps for iOS and Android.
And full Office 2016 for Windows?: The fully-featured version of Microsoft's new Office 2016 suite for Windows 7, 8 and 10 is currently in preview. But the final version will be released some time in September 2015. (Microsoft released the Mac version of Office 2016 to Office 365 subscribers in July; it will be available to those who want to buy it as a one-time purchase, a k a non-subscription-based, in September.)
Windows 10 for Internet of Things (IoT): Microsoft has released to manufacturing Windows 10 for IoT. The RTM bits for x86 IoT for Minnowboard Max and ARM IoT for Raspberry Pi II are both available. (Thanks for the info, @OSBetaArchive.) This is the version of Windows 10 for IoT that was codenamed "Athens." There are other IoT versions of Windows 10 still coming for other types of embedded and ruggedized devices. Here are the Windows 10 IoT release notes. (Thanks, @lancewmccarthy.)
The new Unified Windows Store is now open to developers for app submissions. Starting today, developers will be able to start submitting to the new Unified Windows Store new Universal Windows apps that will work across a variety of Windows devices running the Windows 10 core. (The SDK for Windows 10 also will be available with a go-live license today, as well.) Microsoft is making some changes to the Windows 10 interface that it is hoping will increase Store visibility and app downloads/purchases.
Microsoft's new Windows DVD Player app is available: Microsoft officials promised a new DVD Player app would be coming to Windows 10 users. It's meant to provide a subset of the functionality of Windows Media Center, which is not supported on Windows 10. Windows Enterprise users won't get the new free app, but others upgrading from Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 will. Here's a bunch of questions and answers about the new Windows DVD app.
About that Windows 10 update blocking tool: After months of emphasizing the importance of allowing Microsoft to keep Windows systems up-to-date, the company quietly made available a tool to hide and/or block Windows updates, including driver updates. Does this mean Windows 10 users can rely on this to thwart Microsoft's Windows 10 updating mechanisms (the various "servicing branches")? When I asked, a spokesperson sent me the following statement. (Make of it what you will.):
"Security remains a critical component of our promise to our customers. In Windows 10, your computer is kept up to date with new innovations and security updates. Updates are installed automatically with some flexibility regarding the timing, with no need to select which updates are needed. For rare cases, Microsoft has provided a tool to delay an update as a temporary measure, but the tool is not intended for ongoing usage. For IT Administrators, Windows Update for Business provides flexibility for managing when and how updates are deployed."
Other Windows 10 variants: The version of Windows 10 rolling out starting today is for PCs and tablets. Coming later this year, we'll see Windows 10 Mobile for Windows Phones and new small Intel- and ARM-based tablets. We'll also see Surface Hub running a custom version of Windows 10 core some time later this year. Xbox One will get at least some subset of Windows 10 features starting this fall. A developer version of HoloLens, which also will run the Windows 10 core, will debut "within a year," according to the latest from CEO Satya Nadella, with a consumer-focused version to follow some time after that.