Dell is happy that Microsoft is launching Windows 10 in time for back-to-school PC sales

Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13

Microsoft will officially begin rolling out Windows 10 on July 29, and many computer makers, including Dell, have already started taking pre-orders on some of their PCs with Windows 10 pre-installed. In a new interview with Dell reps, it claims that, while there are certain challenges with Microsoft's faster launch schedule for Windows 10, it is happy overall that it will be released in time for the company to offer the OS in its PC for back-to-school sales.

Normally, big Windows launches have happened in the fall, or in the case of Windows Vista, as late as January. In speaking to Paul Thurrott for his site, Dell's Marissa Tarleton stated:

"This is the first Windows release I can remember that aligns with seasonal demand, with the back to school season," she said. "This is exciting, and while the US is at the forefront, we'll have a worldwide rollout very quickly with more and more hardware appearing in Q3 and (Q4)."

Another Dell rep, Peter Fontana, also revealed that Microsoft had originally planned to release Windows 10 in the fall as well, but decided to move that date up to July 29. While that created some challenges, he stated that Microsoft's early talks with Dell and other PC makers about their plans for the OS made it easier to accommodate the company:

"Because we started so early, back in late 2013, we knew what was happening with the product and were ready [from a hardware perspective]," he told me. "When Microsoft changed the date, we reacted very quickly with a comprehensive plan across the product side, technical support and customer service. So it wasn't a drastic change, just an acceleration."

This collaboration with Microsoft also allowed Dell to launch PCs ahead of time that worked with some of Windows 10's more advanced features. This included better audio and camera hardware that will allow many of Dell's products to work better with Cortana and the Windows Hello sign-in feature.

Another change from the norm is that this time, Microsoft is handling all the software upgrades from Windows 7 and 8.1 themselves. The upgrade from Vista to 7 was handled by PC makers while upgrades from Windows 7 to 8 were a collaboration between PC companies and Microsoft. While Microsoft is handling the Windows 10 upgrade process, Fontana says Dell is still heavily involved in software customer service:

""We have to prepare for the questions our hardware customers will have," Fontana explained. "Driver issues come back to us at Dell, to our support. We have premium support options for consumer customers and professional support channels for commercial customers. And we're sensitive to the strong install base of Windows 7, and understand that varying degrees of support are needed."


John Callaham