Microsoft is on track to deliver Windows 10, its next version of Windows, as early as the late summer, COO Kevin Turner told attendees of the Credit Suisse Technology Conference on Thursday.
The company has been showing off the new OS for the past few months, mostly playing up the features that businesses are going to love. And most of those features, so far, involve bringing things back from Windows 7.
That’s important because businesses have for the most part ignored Windows 8, preferring Windows 7 instead. Even when they buy new PCs, which they have done in droves this year, when Microsoft retired support for XP.
Turner says that in the spring, Microsoft will start showing off new consumer features in Windows 10. Developers will get their hands on a preview version, too, in the spring, giving them a chance to write apps. Surely that will happen at Microsoft’s annual developer’s conference, Microsoft Build, which begins April 29.
With Microsoft’s major reorg, the company has changed the way it builds Windows. It is sending versions of Windows 10 out continuously to anyone who wants to play with it, asking for feedback. That happens through the Windows Insider program.
So, a developer preview version shouldn’t be the first time programmers see Windows 10. This also means Windows could get to market faster than ever before. Microsoft may even have Windows 10 out for the back-to-school PC shopping season.
Here’s what Turner said:
The thing I want to tell you about on Windows 10 is the Windows 10 timeframe. We plan to talk about the end user consumer experiences in the early spring, we’ll have a developer preview and be able to talk to that in depth in the early summer timeframe. And then by late summer and early fall, we’ll be able to bring out this particular OS. That’s the current plan of record.
He also talked about another interesting phenom going at Microsoft right now.
On the one hand, CEO Satya Nadella is very firmly pushing Microsoft into the post-PC era, rolling out new cloud services and apps that run on any devices, any operating system. The more operating systems supported by these apps, the better.
On the other, thanks to the major reorganization of the company, Windows “is now the third biggest entity within our company behind the Office franchise and our enterprise franchise,” Turner said.
The “enterprise franchise” refers to all the software products used by IT, things like Microsoft’s database SQL Server, and its tech management tools, System Center.
With Windows still being the third biggest thing at Microsoft, Turner emphasised that it’s still “a big important franchise for us as a company.”
So at Microsoft, the mantra seems to be Windows ISN’T DEAD YET. LONG LIVE THE CLOUD!
And for that to happen, Windows 10 needs to be a hit. Not only do businesses need to love it, but Microsoft has an ambitious new plan for developers, Turner emphasised.
They will be able to write one app and it will run on any Windows 10 device: phone/tablet, PC, Xbox, or Internet of Things device.
That’s a developer’s nirvana known a “Universal Windows Apps.” If it works as advertised, Windows 10 will be overflowing with cool new apps and will rise from the ashes of Windows 8, stronger than ever.