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Windows 10 coming next fall, with personal assistant

TOKYO -- Microsoft will release Windows 10 early next fall, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told The Nikkei on Wednesday, describing it as a "complete reboot" of the long-running operating system.

     The new version will feature an intelligent personal assistant that anticipates what users are up to.

     Microsoft released a "technical preview" of Windows 10 for information technology specialists and enthusiasts in October. Devices equipped with the operating system, and the software itself, will go on sale next autumn, according to Turner.

     "The things people love about Windows 7, we will have available for them in Windows 10," he said in an interview here, suggesting a departure from Windows 8, which was panned as difficult to use.

     The personal assistant feature could give new appeal to the old workhorse at a time when Google and other rivals are making artificial-intelligence-based tools part of their operating systems.

     Microsoft has redefined itself as "the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world," in the words of Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella.

     Turner said that Windows can play a big role in improving users' productivity and "will remain an important and vibrant part of our company portfolio."

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