Microsoft Confirms Staggered Launch for Windows 10

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Microsoft Confirms Staggered Launch for Windows 10

At a special event today, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 will launch over a period of time this year, with the PC version of the OS arriving first. Versions for phones, Internet of Things (IoT), Xbox One, HoloLens and other devices will arrive according to their own schedules later in 2015.

Microsoft corporate vice president Joe Belfiore confirmed this schedule—which I’ve suspected for months, and even more so in the wake of recent rumors about a May “launch” of the OS—at a special event for reviewers during Build 2015 today in San Francisco.

Joe also confirmed that Windows 10 would continue to be improved after its initial release, not just through Windows Updates, but also via a number of app updates.

According to Belfiore, the PC version of Windows 10—which will run on traditional PC form factors, but also touch devices like large tablets and 2-in-1 devices—will make the “summer 2015” launch date that Microsoft previously promised. The company is focusing on this release first because it serves the biggest audience, he said. But I suspect that Microsoft also seeks to remove the bad vibes from Windows 8 as soon as possible.

Over the course of 2015, Microsoft will then ship other Windows 10 versions for those other form factors. Belfiore specifically said that Windows 10 Mobile for phones was not as far along as the PC version and that its release schedule would be determined in part by wireless carriers. I would imagine that fall 2015 is a more realistic timeline for those new Windows 10-based phones.

Other devices, like Surface Hub and HoloLens are dependent on new hardware and will ship accordingly, he said.

More generally, Belfiore noted that there’s no real point when Windows 10 is “done” since the firm intends to continue updating the OS—across devices—after it is “finalized.” These updates will include new versions of the many in-box apps—Mail, Calendar, Music, Maps, and so on—and also lower-level functional updates and fixes.

In a related note, customers who participate in the Windows Insider program can continue to do so after Windows 10 is done. The pace of updates you will see will depend on what you opt-in to, with Fast Ring and Slow Ring-based Windows Insiders getting early access to coming new features before the public.

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