Windows 10 To Be Released On July 29
Written by Mike James   
Tuesday, 02 June 2015

So soon! The real question is not are we ready for it but is it ready for us? The phone version certainly isn't ready and neither are the developer tools we needed weeks ago.

Microsoft is aiming to release Window 10 in just eight week's time. This is a very quick turnaround. Only a few weeks ago the beta versions of Windows 10 that we were all being asked to try out were very flaky and there were big changes with every release. Is July 29 too soon? We will find out when the early upgraders start to complain, or not. 

 

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Given that Microsoft is taking a "Windows as a service" approach, presumably the final release isn't quite as final as previous "box" based releases with DVDs manufactured weeks earlier. 

What is different this time is that most of those upgraders are going to be OTA (Over The Air) upgrades - or at least over the internet. Users are being encouraged to click preinstalled system tray icons to install the new OS. If you are running legal Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 then you can upgrade for free. All of the low end "home" editions will be upgraded to Windows 10 Home while the Professional and Ultimate editions will be upgraded to Windows 10 Professional. If you have an Enterprise edition or Windows RT then there is no upgrade for you. 

If you don't qualify for a free upgrade then the cost will be $119 for the Home edition and $199 for Pro. A quick sum seems to indicate that it is cheaper to buy a copy of Windows 7 and take the free upgrade than to buy a copy of Windows 10.

From the point of view of a logical design, Windows 10 is still a bit of mess with duplicated features. For example, why have the Control Panel and Settings? The Start Menu is better than nothing, but it still isn't as efficient in use as the folder organized Start Menu last seen in Windows 7. In short Microsoft has managed to recover from much but not all of the damage inflicted by the Sinofsky madness. 

Probably enough to encourage quite a lot of users to upgrade - specially with the price being zero for so many.

What this means for developers is that there might at long last be a market for WinRT apps - even if there isn't much of one on Windows Phone.

The key to this is the new Universal App (UA). The big problem here is that the new UA isn't the same as the old UA in Windows 8.1 although some programmers think it is. In this new UA world you simply write your app taking account of potential differences in the device that it is running on - check screen size and resolution and make sure that APIs you might want to use are present. You don't have to rewrite your code for desktop, mobile and phone - one code base will do. 

This is potentially very good but Visual Studio 2015 RC with the Windows 10 development tools is barely working. Most things don't seem to be supported and finding out how to do things is a matter of trial and mostly error. Put simply the tools to create UAs for Windows 10 just aren't there. Add to this the fact that Windows 10 wont be released for Phones on July 29th and you start to see that there is a big problem. 

Microsoft really does need us to get excited about the new UAs and to be honest I was - until I tried to create one. 

With only eight weeks to go to the launch of the platform we still haven't the tools we need to build UAs and these were needed weeks ago if we were going to be ready with some UA apps. It is possible that by the launch the Windows 10 tools will be improved, working and integrated with Visual Studio - but even this would be far, far too late. 

Windows 10 might be ready for the end user, it certainly isn't ready for the developer.

I find it deeply ironic that Terry Myerson's blog post announcing Window 10 is called "Hello World: Window 10 Available on July 29". - as long as it isn't a Universal App Hello World that is...

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 June 2015 )