Dell and Lenovo are laying out their plans for new Windows 10 PCs as Microsoft gets ready to launch its latest operating system.
Dell officials, who have been taking preorders for systems running Windows 10 since June, are pushing up the delivery timeline for the new PCs. Initially, the plan was to start shipping the systems by July 29, the day Microsoft releases Windows 10.
However, the company now is offering to ship preordered Windows 10 PCs starting July 28, with next-day delivery guaranteed. In all, Dell is making almost 70 configurations—from notebooks and two-in-one systems to desktop PCs and all-in-one machines—available with the new OS preinstalled. The company also is offering a range of services and support plans for the new systems, and is rolling out a series of Web videos designed to ease customers' transition to Windows 10, focusing on such tasks as upgrading to the new OS, key features and basic functions in Windows 10, and how to use the operating system on virtual desktops.
The deadline for ordering a new Windows 10 PC for next-day delivery is 3 p.m. ET July 28.
In addition, Dell and Microsoft are hosting a four-day #DellLounge Powered by Windows 10 event in Chicago, running July 30 through Aug. 2. It will showcase Windows 10-ready systems from Dell and its subsidiary Alienware and offer interactive experiences and learning labs.
For its part, Lenovo—the world's largest PC vendor—on July 29 will begin shipping an array of systems preloaded with Windows 10, including such models as the Yoga 3 Pro and Yoga 500, officials said. The company is making available a list of products that will be ready to ship July 29.
Among the preloaded software on these systems will be a suite of applications written by Lenovo, including the Lenovo Companion 3.0 optimization tool for ensuring peak performance and running system checkups and reports to let users know what they can do to improve the speed of the PC.
Lenovo and Microsoft also have worked to integrate Lenovo's REACHit app for managing content across multiple devices and cloud storage platforms with Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant feature. The integration will make Cortana even more personal and intelligent to make it easier for users to find such content as emails, photos and videos, according to Lenovo officials.
"With Windows 10, computing gets more personal, productive and connected," Tom Shell, senior vice president of Lenovo's PC Business Group, said in a statement. "Across our entire PC product line, from the office to the home, we've optimized our Lenovo devices to give customers a great computing experience."
Hewlett-Packard officials earlier this month announced the company would allow customers to preorder Windows 10 PCs and would ship them overnight starting July 28.
Microsoft is promising significant improvements in Windows 10 or Windows 8, with features that include not only Cortana but also the Edge browser and the return of the Start button. There will be events in 13 cities worldwide—including New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Berlin and Nairobi—to celebrate the launch of Windows 10.
Industry analysts question how much of an initial boost the release of the OS will give to a reeling global PC market that has seen shipments decline worldwide since 2011. Releases of a new Windows version in the past have usually led to strong PCs sales. In addition, Microsoft's decision last year to end support of the older Windows XP operating system helped drive strong growth in the commercial PC sector.
However, it could be different this time around, analysts have said. A key reason is that Microsoft is letting Windows 7 and 8 users upgrade to Windows 10 for free during the first three months, letting them extend the life of their systems by at least 90 days. However, analyst firms like IDC, Gartner and TECHnalysis have said they expect in the long-term—starting in 2016—Windows 10 could benefit the PC industry.