In a recent earnings call, an AMD executive let it slip that Windows 10 would be shipping to consumers in July of this year. That would fit nicely into the Microsoft announced “summer” release date that they offered back in February. Summer is certainly a broad term as technical summer is from June 21st through September 23rd this year and everyone is clamoring for a more definitive date. The challenge of course is that Windows 10 is still very much in beta as are many individual components of what will be released with the new Operating System. That to me makes a July release date nearly impossible and in fact I’ll give you five reasons why I don’t think Windows 10 will launch in July 2015.
Windows 10 is still very buggy
Like many Windows Insiders, I have been running Windows 10 on a PC since it was released in January. While the latest update to the platform has certainly improved stability and usability, it is still far from what I would consider completed. There are still features that are not working very well and we just saw the first public release of Project Spartan in the last update a couple of weeks ago. Given the magnitude alone of Project Spartan, it makes a July release seem unrealistic.
There are other challenges though around smoothness of operation. Gestures for example aren’t 100% complete but there are other areas that aren’t ready for prime time either. Peeps, it is just normal software development and it is just not there yet. Given where we are in this beta cycle, I just can’t see a July release date happening.
Windows 10 for small tablets not available yet
Perhaps a more telling issue is the fact that Windows 10 is not available on small tablets yet because of their compressed OS configuration. I’m not talking about Surface, I’m talking about tablets like my Toshiba Encore 2 or the HP Stream 7 or 8. The way that these devices are configure has made it nearly impossible to put Windows 10 on these devices. There have been a few brave souls out there who have done it but it has a high degree of difficulty that the average technical user let alone consumer will simply not bother doing.
Because of the shear number of these tablets that are out there, Microsoft has to address how to get Windows 10 on these devices. My guess is that the update will require that you have a MicroSD card in your tablet to actually do the update but for now, this is just speculation. Given that we have not even seen a beta of how this installation process will happen, it makes a July release date difficult to achieve.
Universal store is not ready and just now started merger
One of the key tent poles of Windows 10 are Universal apps and to that end, there will be one store for these apps. No matter what device you are on, you have the same apps available for your Windows Phone, Windows PC or tablet. Personally this is one of the things I’m looking forward to in Windows 10 along with the afore mentioned universal apps (which will be known as Windows apps). We are seeing the first steps in the merger of the Windows Store, the Xbox Store and Windows Phone Store now but there is still significant amounts to be completed. In fact it was just in the last beta of the Windows Store in Windows 10 for PC that you could actually get video content from the store despite the fact it has been listed in the beta since February. We are still a good bit away from this part of the Windows 10 experience from being completed.
Universal apps from Microsoft still very much in beta
Speaking of Universal apps, have you given them a go on Windows 10? Yeah, they are rough. Really rough. Personally I don’t find this surprising in the least. Microsoft is focused largely on getting Windows 10 done and the apps, while important, rightfully so take second place. But as I mentioned above, Windows apps are a key point of this release and at a minimum Microsoft has to have their own set of apps ready to go. That’s a big ask right now given their current state.
Windows 10 for Phone not even close
That brings me to my final point: Windows 10 for Phone. We got a brand new build of this a couple of weeks ago and… it is very painful. In fact I was quite disappointed as I was expecting the release to be farther along than it is at this point. If Microsoft is planning on getting Windows 10 out across all platforms, the Windows 10 for Phone experience above any other reason I’ve outlined above will be the reason July is not going to be the month of release. It is hardly complete, there are plenty of bugs and oddities in behavior. The new Outlook Calendar and Outlook Mail apps are crash prone, lots of features are still missing. Shall I go on? Now to be clear, Microsoft has never said that Windows 10 and Windows 10 for Phone will be released at the same time. Nor is it likely given that carriers are still involved in the upgrade process which is beyond painful. But they have to be released within a reasonable window of time together because of such things as a universal Windows store and Windows apps.
Add all of this up and to me it seems like a July release of Windows 10 is unlikely. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that you never say never but for a July date to be realistic, Microsoft would have to produce builds for PC, Tablets and Phones that are stellar in the next update. It would have to feel like we are further along than we are on the Technical Previews and I can’t see how they make that quantum leap right now.
Agree with me? Disagree? Let me know in the comment below.