AMD's chief exec Lisa Su may have inadvertently narrowed down the shipping date of Microsoft's Windows 10 in a conference call with financial analysts.
During a chat to discuss her firm's first-quarter earnings, Su was asked to discuss the chipmaker's business outlook for its next fiscal quarter. Her comments appeared to include detail about the Windows 10 release that we haven't heard before.
"What we also are factoring in is, you know, with the Windows 10 launch at the end of July, we are watching sort of the impact of that on the back-to-school season, and expect that it might have a bit of a delay to the normal back-to-school season inventory build-up," Su said.
"End of July" is more specificity about the Windows 10 launch date than we've had until now. Previously Microsoft hasn't committed to a firm launch window, saying only that its next OS would arrive "this summer."
Assuming that Su is speaking from insider knowledge, her comments at the end of last week seem to indicate the launch will happen sooner rather than later. Summer starts on June 21 this year, so a late-July launch would mean Windows 10 will arrive around a month into the season.
Such a schedule also means Microsoft has only around 100 days left to finish its work on the OS – and as anyone who has used the Technical Preview builds can attest, completing the work by then seems like a tall order.
Even if Redmond manages to bring the desktop version of Windows 10 to market in that timeframe, it seems unlikely that the version for phones – which is currently missing many features and is so buggy that it's rendering some testers' devices inoperable – will ship at the same time.
An aggressive launch also suggests that few, if any, of the controversial UI changes seen in the preview builds of desktop Windows 10 will be revised much by the time the OS hits general availability, and it might be wise to expect some rough edges, too.
Sources close to Redmond have suggested that the Windows 10 launch may not be Microsoft's only major release this year, and that the software giant is planning a significant OS update for the fall. And from the sound of it, work won't even stop there, with two more big updates planned for 2016 under the codename "Redstone."
That biannual release cadence should give Microsoft ample opportunity to fix problems with Windows 10. But it may also mean that people who take advantage of the free upgrade early may end up using an OS that's not quite as polished as past Windows releases. ®