On June 1, Microsoft announced that it would launch Windows 10 in 190 countries around the world on July 29, 2015. This week, the software giant put a big asterisk next to those plans, revealing that not everyone who has reserved a copy of Windows 10 will actually get it on day one.
Which of course brings up a great moment from the TV show Seinfeld, where Jerry arrives at the rental car counter to find that the car he reserved is in fact not available.
“I don’t understand,” he says. “I made a reservation. Do you have my reservation?”
“Yes we do,” the clerk explains. “Unfortunately, we ran out of cars.”
“But the reservation keeps the car here,” Jerry explains, quickly getting exasperated. “That’s why you have the reservation.”
“I know why we have reservations,” she responds, snottily.
“I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.”
Point being, when you say you’re going to do something, you do it. And when you make a claim to what Microsoft itself has called an audience of 1.5 billion people, showing up is perhaps all the more important.
Here’s what they’re really doing.
“We’ll roll-out Windows 10 in phases to help manage the demand,” Microsoft’s Terry Myerson explained in a blog post yesterday. “Starting on July 29, we will start rolling out Windows 10 to our Windows Insiders. From there, we will start notifying reserved systems in waves, slowly scaling up after July 29th. Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users.
If you go back and read its initial announcement about the July 29 date, it says the following:
“On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favorite retailer,” the post clearly reads. July 29 is referred to as “the availability date.” Not the “initial availability date. Not “On or soon after July 29.”
So, no big deal, right? Many people will want to wait, of course, and I’ve recommended that casual users wait anyway, and let the early adopters guinea pig the upgrade experience for them.
But it seems like when you make a big public announcement and then casually and subtly backtrack on it at the halfway mark between the announcement and the actual release, you’re being dishonest. And in this era of Microsoft miscommunications and worse (e.g. HoloLens), this is an area where perhaps more care could be taken.
That’s really the most important part of the reservation, Microsoft, the holding. Anybody can just take a reservation.