Forget the typical October Windows launch dates, because Microsoft is eyeing the season, with winter being the likely time to see Windows 10 hit shelves.
Yes, it’s very possibly that by the time Microsoft normally releases operating systems — October — you could well have been using the final and retail ready copy of Windows 10 for a few months, as Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of its Operating Systems Group, has announced this week that countries around the world should be seeing the new operating system in America’s summer, which of course translates to Australia’s winter.
“We continue to make great development progress and shared today that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages,” said Myerson in a blog entry posted to the Windows website.
The blog entry comes after a Windows conference in China, where Microsoft showed off some of the other features set to grace Windows 10, including one called “Windows Hello” which will allow Windows users to login with biometric authentication.
You’ve probably seen biometric security before, likely in a movie, but in case you don’t know what it means, we’re talking about forms of security based on elements of your biology. You, specifically, and not your parents or your siblings. In fact, biometric authentication essentially means being able to use your fingerprint, your eyes, or even face tracking as a form of a password.
In essence, Windows Hello will be a way to utilise this information for your password, so if an upcoming laptop or tablet that you’re thinking of buying has a fingerprint sensor or a modern web cam with Intel’s RealSense hardware behind it, you’ll be able to secure your password using your body and not just a password, making things a little more secure long term.
Pricing for Microsoft’s next generation of Windows still isn’t out yet, so expect that closer to actual launch, but what we do know is that owners of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade for free to Windows 10 for the first year after release.
And of course, there should also be a free version for those of you with small devices like the Raspberry Pi, because that’s on the cards, too.
The mid-year release definitely gels with some of the rumours we’ve been hearing of a mid-year refresh for the Surface, Microsoft’s tablet-laptop hybrid that generally showcases the best of Windows in a similar way to what Google’s Nexus does for Android.
If the Windows launch is indeed happening somewhere between June and August, you can expect a Surface Pro 4 sometime along here too, possibly with a Surface Mini as well.
In any case, we’ll keep you updated on everything as we hear it.