With the shipping date of Windows 10 now designated as July 29, a long list of businesses inside the worldwide Microsoft ecosystem finally have an actual date upon which to focus as new products roll out.
When the launch date was announced on June 1, it set into motion a whole series of events. PC makers, retailers, parts suppliers, systems integrators, resellers, sales people, marketing folks, channel partners, shipping clerks -- just about everybody in the business -- now know when not to schedule their vacations this summer.
Hewlett-Packard, one of the largest and most important Microsoft Windows partners in the world, was involved with Windows 10 practically from Day 1, said Mike Nash, who is responsible for HP's customer experience and portfolio strategy in HP's Personal Systems division. Still, HP didn't know about July 29 until June 1, like everybody else.
"While we didn't know what the ship date was going to be for Windows 10, we did know it would be 2015," Nash said in an audio press conference June 1. "So I planned our entire 2015 portfolio on both the consumer and commercial side to be ready for Windows 10."
HP's back-to-school laptops, tablets and other devices are shipping now to retailers, and most of them have Windows 8.1 aboard; some of them sport Windows 7.
"The key thing is, though, that all of those products are easily upgradable to Win 10," Nash said. "What we're working is using all of Microsoft's infrastructure around Windows 10 to make sure we've got an excellent upgrade experience for those machines."
HP is making sure all the right device drivers are available and that they stay in the right place on Microsoft.com, HP.com, and on Windows Update, Nash said.
Whenever a new OS is announced, HP knows that some customers struggle with the question of whether to buy a new PC now, or wait for PCs designed for the new OS to ship with it pre-installed, Nash said.
"Because we designed our 2015 portfolio with Windows 10 in mind, the need to wait for the new OS to be pre-installed is a non-issue, because the upgrade experience will automatically grab the right drivers from Windows Update," Nash wrote in his blog.
"Microsoft has made this an easy decision for consumers and businesses using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 by making the upgrade to Windows 10 free on consumer systems when the customer upgrades in the first year after Windows 10 is available."
At the Computex conference in Taipei this week, HP will offer a sneak peak at two future devices during the Microsoft keynote on June 3. These are a new ultra-portable "tablet first" detachable and a revolutionary note-taking tablet, Nash said.
"Both devices show off two features I'm most excited about in Windows 10: personal assistant Cortana and Continuum – which adjusts the interface automatically no matter what mode you are using the device," Nash said.
For more information on HP's Windows 10-ready portfolio, go here.
Go here to view a video showing the new features and attributes of Win 10.