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Minecraft for Windows 10 beta arrives on July 29th launch day

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Microsoft is bringing a "whole new version" of Minecraft to Windows 10 later this month. To celebrate the launch of Windows 10 on July 29th, a Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta will be released at the same time. Just like Windows 10 itself, Microsoft is planning to update its special version of Minecraft over time, and future updates will be free. If you already own and play Minecraft then the Windows 10 version will be free, and other players can obtain it for $10 during the beta period.

Xbox Live friends support included

This new version is effectively the Pocket Edition of Minecraft for all Windows 10 devices. You’ll be able to create and explore online with up to seven other friends using Xbox Live. An update, planned shortly after launch, will also add the ability to play online with other Pocket Edition players. Microsoft is adding support for controllers, touch, and keyboard controls to play Minecraft on Windows 10, so you will be able to use an Xbox One controller to navigate around.

While a full Windows Store version of Minecraft for Windows has been a long time coming, it’s not surprising this has finally arrived after Microsoft acquired Minecraft last year. Minecraft creator Markus Persson, known widely as Notch, famously criticized Microsoft and its Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft wanted a Windows Store version of Minecraft, but Notch said at the time "I’d rather have Minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to win 8 that way." Alongside the new Windows 10 edition, Microsoft is also building a special version of Minecraft for its HoloLens headset.