One month to go… trade gears up for Windows 10 launch

Microsoft has revealed the launch date for Windows 10, and with new form factors designed for the OS coming to market, Jade Burke speaks to industry members for their thoughts…

Microsoft has announced the release date of Windows 10 – and the channel is preparing for its launch on July 29th.

Although some retailers have previously showed scepticism over the new operating system (OS), believing that the free upgrade may be quite challenging to make a profit from, some retailers and vendors are already excited by the upcoming launch.

Nick Parker, corporate VP OEM division at Microsoft, said during the keynote: “Our device partners continue to push the envelope of innovation, developing stunning PCs that are sure to delight customers.

“And our commitment to broaden the ecosystem opportunity with Windows 10 is revolutionising how people interact with their devices and create new opportunities for revenue growth.”

Although the free upgrade has caused some concern within the industry, Sebastian James, CEO of Dixons Carphone, believes servicing will be a great opportunity for retailers to get involved with, as more customers will return to get their PC upgraded in the future.

James adds: “Generally speaking with Windows releases we think this is going to be a winner.

“We will be helping customers to do the upgrade, and I think for many customers the notion of doing an upgrade can be quite daunting, so we will then be able to show them how to use their new product. So for us, we think there are opportunities in servicing.”

Microsoft has also unveiled a line-up of new devices during a keynote at Computex 2015, which have been designed for Windows 10. Some of which include a Transformer Book from Asus, an HP tablet and the Dell XPS 15 laptop.

There are new form factors designed specifically for the operating system. One of the more unusual devices was a Compute Plug from Quanta, a mini PC inside a power adapter instead of a stick.

The plug can be plugged into an HDMI port, which then turns TV into a smart computer, allowing users to control their device using Cortana via a Bluetooth remote or headset.

Alex Ebeid, UK consumer director at Lenovo, believes that Windows 10 will bring positive long-term gains thanks to its similarities to Windows 7.

He says: “On the Windows 10 free update, for me it just means that we’re going to see customers having the best experience on a PC.

“So that’s got to be a long-term gain for everyone – they will get more out of PCs and at some point when they look to a new machine, they stay on the Windows platform and won’t migrate to others.”

As some customers found Windows 8 quite tricky to get their heads around, the simple layout of Windows 10 and the return of the Start menu are both welcome features, plus with the integration of Cortana, users will be able to get a user friendly experience.

Ben Miles, sales director from system builder Chillblast, tells PCR: “Microsoft is back on form. Windows 8 had a mixed reception, but Windows 10 has been overwhelming positively received.

“It’s like an OS that takes the best bits of 7 and 8; it’s pleasant to use and lightning fast. The number of draw calls you can do on DirectX 12 is also massively improved from DirectX 11.”

Similarly, Gavin Rose, joint UK MD for Wortmann AG’s Terra brand, thinks that the uptake to Windows 10 will be much quicker than previous versions. “I think people are becoming a bit more proactive with technology and work with technology more. Now we have smartphones and tablets the interconnection means people aren’t just sticking to the old PC on the desk. They want to swap data across various devices.

“So the uptake on Windows 10 should be quicker and it’s an uplifting technology – each version has easier, better and nicer features.”

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