Microsoft may not be handing Windows 10 to all who want it on July 29, but it will still kick off a global campaign that day to convince customers to migrate to the new operating system.
The campaign, dubbed "Upgrade Your World," will run for a year, Microsoft said today, the same timeline for the free offer to upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.
"We will host global fan celebrations, join thousands of retailers to help customers upgrade to Windows 10, and welcome the newest generation of Windows fans via a new global advertising campaign and through online content," said Yusuf Mehdi, an executive in the Windows and Devices Group, on a Monday blog entry published just before the company opened its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Orlando, Fla.
Television and online ad campaigns supporting Windows 10 and its upgrade path will debut July 20 in the U.S., and on July 29 globally, Mehdi said.
On launch day Microsoft will "celebrate the unprecedented role our biggest fans played in the development of Windows 10," said Mehdi, with events in 13 cities focusing on Windows Insiders, the testers who have kicked tires since October through a series of preview builds.
As Microsoft has before, Mehdi cited five million Insider participants, a number not supported by user share data provided by Net Applications. According to the analytics firm, less than two-tenths of a percentage point of all Windows personal computers ran Windows 10 in June, representing about 2.6 million PCs.
That number should rise dramatically starting July 29, when Insiders get first dibs on the final build, delivered to them as yet another update. Others, however, will have to wait, even though Microsoft once touted July 29 as the date when everyone was to get the upgrade.
Instead, earlier this month Terry Myerson, Microsoft's top operating system and devices executive, confirmed that the company will roll out the free Windows 10 upgrade in waves, with a queue built from the "reservations" that users of Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro have registered from their devices.
People who have reserved an upgrade through Microsoft's on-screen nag-and-notification campaign will be told that their devices are ready to update only after Microsoft has silently pushed the bits to their machines and checked for potential compatibility issues.
Nor will most new machines be pre-loaded with Windows 10 on day one. In an interview with Bloomberg, Mehdi said, "You will see computers running with Windows 10 installed very soon after the 29th and then in the fall a whole new class of machines for the holidays." [Emphasis added.]
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