A Microsoft official threw a scare into an already shaken PC industry earlier this month when he said system makers probably would not have Windows 10 systems available when the operating system is launched July 29.
However, the confusion seems to have been cleared up, and now Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Acer appear primed to release new systems at the same time Windows 10 hits the market. Microsoft officials sent Bloomberg Business a statement July 13 saying that Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of Windows and device marketing for the software giant, erred when he told the news site that Windows 10 systems would begin arriving soon after the OS launch, but not on the same day.
Mehdi said the issue was that Microsoft had yet to roll out the Windows 10 release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version. However, in its following emailed statement, Microsoft said the OS had not yet been completed and hadn’t been sent to PC makers. However, Microsoft reportedly has completed the RTM version.
Soon after the reports surfaced that there weren’t going to be Windows 10 PCs available on the day of the launch, PC vendors began pushing back at the claim. Dell CEO Michael Dell said on Twitter that this company will be shipping PCs preinstalled with the new OS on July 29.
Dell officials in June said that customers could preorder systems preinstalled with Windows 10 ahead of the launch, and that the PCs would ship as soon as July 29.
In similar fashion, HP officials said July 15 that customers can buy Windows 10 PCs on the company’s Website now, and that the systems will ship July 28.
“We are offering free next-day shipping so customers will receive the device on July 29,” Mike Nash, vice president of product strategy and customer experience at HP, said in a brief post on the company blog. “Customers will start seeing HP devices running Windows 10 in-store at select retailers beginning August 2.”
Windows 10 is coming with the promise of being significantly improved over Windows 8.1, with an array of new features that includes the Windows Hello face-recognition technology, Cortana digital assistant and Microsoft Edge browser, as well as the return of an old one—the Start button—that is much in demand.
Microsoft officials are getting users prepared for the launch, which will happen at events in 13 cities worldwide, including New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Berlin and Nairobi. In a post on the company’s Windows blog, Mehdi said Microsoft will kick off a new marketing campaign, host fan celebrations around the world and help thousands of retailers upgrade systems to Windows 10.
“From the beginning, Windows 10 has been unique—built with feedback from our fans, delivered as a service and offered as a free upgrade,” Mehdi wrote. “Our approach to launch is also unique—focused on a more aspirational goal, inspired by Windows 10.”
The new operating system will be entering a PC market that continues to see shipments decline, a trend that is now in its fourth year and that is hammering at the financial numbers of PC and component makers. Chip makers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices this week both highlighted the negative impact the PC downturn is having on the industry when they announced their second-quarter financial numbers, which were hurt by the sales slowdown.
HP, Dell, Lenovo, Others Prep PCs for Windows 10 Launch
Analysts from Gartner and IDC this month found that second quarter PC shipments worldwide fell by 9.5 percent to 11.8 percent.
The shipment declines were slowed last year when Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, forcing businesses still using the aged OS to buy new systems to run Windows 7 or 8. Vendors were hopeful that the launch of Windows 10 this year would help bolster sales in the second half, though analysts are saying that in the short term, the new OS probably will be of little benefit.
Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to users running Windows 7 or 8 on their PCs, dulling the incentive to buy a new system. In addition, vendors are looking to coordinate new systems with new chips from Intel and AMD, which won’t happen until later in the year. Other issues facing the PC market include an increasingly strong dollar and a reduced inventory as OEMs await the OS and chips.
“We do not expect the global PC market to recover until 2016,” Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said in a statement earlier this month. “The release of Windows 10 on July 29 will contribute to a slowing professional demand for mobile PCs and premium ultramobiles in 2015, as lifetimes extend by three months. However, as suppliers and buyers adjust to new prices, Windows 10 could boost replacements during 2016.”
Bob O’Donnell, principal analyst with TECHnalysis, told eWEEK last week that the impact of Windows 10 will be felt down the road, most likely starting next year.
“There are a lot of cool capabilities in Windows 10,” O’Donnell said “Longer term, it is an important step forward. There are a lot of things there that work and make sense.”