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Microsoft waives Windows 10 'branches' for now

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 18, 2015
Don't expect new update and upgrade model to kick off until later this year, say analysts.

The company's focus on getting Windows 10 into customers' hands will require its complete attention until at least September, probably longer, Kleynhans argued. "We're definitely looking at months [to complete the Windows 10 rollout]. Microsoft is being pretty cautious at looking at machines" to authorize upgrades only to those capable of running the new OS, he added.

In fact, there's little rush for Microsoft to enable branches and rings, in large part because while some small businesses or organizations running Windows 10 Pro may leap at the free upgrade -- a deal valid until late July 2016 -- the majority of those migrating to Windows 10 in 2015 will be consumers, who will be almost entirely on the get-it-first, can't-refuse-or-delay-it Current Branch.

In any case, Microsoft wasn't expected to ship the first significant refresh until about four months after release, or by late November or early December.

Still, the new servicing model and its associated branches are critical to Windows 10's success, or at least to the strategy Microsoft has adopted. Seeing it in action, and judging whether it's workable, will be a big moment for the new OS as well as for Microsoft's reputation.


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