As usual, Microsoft gives, and it takes. In this case, we’ve put together a flurry of updates to keep you apprised of all things Windows 10 and its 2015 release. Windows 10 pricing plans have been teased, along with Microsoft finally finding a workaround for broken Technical Preview issues. Let’s look at this flurry of updates to get you up to speed with Windows 10 and what you can expect in 2015.
Windows 10 Release Schedule
Recently, Microsoft Chief Operating Office Kevin Turner, revealed some of the thinking behind Microsoft’s rationale for a new release schedule. While Microsoft is still pushing for a late 2015 release for Windows 10, they’ve said they will release a consumer preview version in the spring, a developer build in April 2015 and then finally a retail version in the fall of 2015.
According to more recent comments from COO Turner at the Credit Suisse conference, late 2015 corresponds more to September or October. The developer and consumer previews have also been up in the air, with sources across the Web citing various dates and time frames. Truth be told, Microsoft has dangled release dates in front of us before, and as you have to expect, releases can be delayed or changed.
As of now, it appears late summer to early fall is when we’ll see Windows 10 released, but we’ll know more after the consumer event coming up shortly.
Windows 10 Pricing Model
As cloud-based subscription services slowly take over the software and app market, it’s no surprise companies like Microsoft are looking at new ways to price their OS. OneDrive and Office 365 are two ways Microsoft has already moved users to subscription-based services, with Office 365 changing the way users utilize and pay for the Office productivity suite.
Can Microsoft duplicate the success of Office 365 with Windows? COO Turner has made comments that suggest Microsoft is looking at new ways to price Windows, including a no upfront cost to start using it, then unlocking features along the way with subscription or one-time payments. He’s been noted as talking about the old world business model of software and OS purchase and that it’s rapidly changing due to the cloud.
Chances are Windows 10 won’t radically change how people buy the OS or upgrade to it. However, Windows in the future may change how consumers get, upgrade and change the functionality of their OS.
Windows 10 Technical Preview Issues
Microsoft has addressed several key issues with the Windows 10 Technical Preview that many testing it have complained about. In one of the later builds, specifically 9879, which saw Explorer.exe crashing quite often, you lost use of your PC in many cases. For those that were brave and upgraded to Windows 10, instead of installing it on a partition or test environment like a virtual drive, the results were often devastating.
If you could get into the build of Windows 10 long enough, you can uninstall the updates that made this happen; if you couldn’t, you were left with clean installing your original OS or the Windows 10 Technical Preview again, losing a majority of your files and programs. The Windows 10 Technical Preview isn’t meant for the average consumer to take advantage of, at least not at this stage in beta testing.
You can read the official support steps to take at Microsoft’s support forums to fix the issue if you updated to build 9879.
Keep in mind that the Windows 10 Technical Preview isn’t for the faint of heart or the average PC user. If you want to see what the buzz is about Windows 10, install it on a separate partition, virtual drive or old laptop that can run it. Don’t upgrade to the Windows 10 Technical Preview if you can avoid it, as you may run into issues like that with build 9879 which will render your PC useless.
Microsoft appears to be more forthcoming on Windows 10 than Windows 8, and other releases in the past, but remember that all this information can change in a moment’s notice.
We’ll keep you up to date on the latest information from Microsoft and the release of Windows 10, as well as pertinent updates on what you can expect from its release schedule and Microsoft’s consumer event at the end of January.