Microsoft has admitted that not everybody will be able to download Windows 10 on 29 July, the day it’s due to be released, disappointing millions of users who were hoping to install it immediately.
It had been thought that everyone who wanted to download the new operating system (OS) would be allowed to on the day of release. But the company now says that Windows 10 Insiders (https://insider.windows.com) will be first in the download queue.
Windows 10 Insiders are people who signed up to test the new OS during its Preview Builds. After they have been given first bite of the cherry, Windows 10 will be delivered in “waves”. Microsoft’s operating systems chief Terry Myerson explained the timetable in a blog post:
He said that the next group of people to receive the download would be those who have reserved the upgrade by clicking the Windows icon in the Taskbar (see image), and submitting their details. He said: “Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users”.
Even when it’s your turn to download Windows 10, you still may not be allowed because Microsoft will first check that your hardware is compatible. The company says it will “provide more details during the upgrade experience” for these customers, such as “contact information so you can follow up directly with an application provider or device manufacturer to learn more”. Some will see this as Microsoft passing the buck to third-party software and hardware manufacturers.
Microsoft may even let you plough on with the upgrade if it does detect problems. “For most upgrade incompatibilities, you may still choose to complete the upgrade, and find alternative compatible solutions in the Windows Store after you upgrade,” Myerson said. But he tried to reassure users by saying that most PCs will be compatible with Windows 10, as indicated when the company tested it on “millions of systems”. Compatibility problems are most likely to affect those running early Windows 7 hardware, which was released in 2009. Some people running Windows 7 may even be using older hardware, having upgraded from the unpopular Windows Vista. Myerson also emphasised that Microsoft sees Windows as a “service”.
This means Windows 10 will probably be the final version of the operating system, and will be receive updates over time. Windows 11 doesn’t seem likely to ever appear. Myerson said this approach will mean Windows 10 is “continuously improved and keeps getting better”.