About a month ago, Microsoft announced that they were releasing Windows 10 on July 29th. At the time I wrote that the Windows 10 release date was optimistic, given the work that I felt was still to be done on the product, and Microsoft’s own history of delaying releases.
From my perspective, it was the little things.. like the start menu that still doesn’t work and the ctrl – alt delete to unlock the screen that is hit and miss. It’s just not ready for mass consumption.
However, for good or for bad, Microsoft announced the release date. Now it appears they are backtracking on the date, although not officially.
Allow me to explain how a release can still be officially happening without being released to most people. People like myself, who get a thrill out of working with new technology, even though it isn’t mature, will get the first opportunity to download the product. Then, once all of the bugs have been ironed out, the rest of world will get a chance. How long that takes is anyone’s guess.
What this smacks of is corporate sleight of hand. I need to briefly explain how the rollout process of new software works. It starts with an alpha release. This is a really rough copy of the software, with lots of bugs. Bit by bit the the bugs are ironed out, to progress to a beta release. The beta release is usually pretty good, but still hasn’t got all the bugs out and isn’t quite as polished as the end product. Finally there are release candidates. These are effectively full production versions of software, but the company wants to limit the release to a select few people just to make sure that all is good.
Once that is explained it can be clearly seen that a release date that is only being released to those that are already on the Windows insider technical preview list isn’t a general release, it’s a beta test, or a release candidate at best. The general release is available at an undetermined date at some time in the future.
I understand and accept that a general rollout to a billion desktops world wide is going to be a challenge. I can accept that it may have to be staggered. What I can’t understand is why they committed to such an unrealistic date in the first place. And their explanation of the situation is about as credible as some of the explanations politicians give for their backflips.