Microsoft Surprises Partners With Summer Release Of Windows 10

Microsoft, known for launching its new products in the fall, stunned the tech world by saying it will release its long-anticipated newest operating system, Windows 10, in the summer.

The company's partners hope the summer release date of Windows 10, which boasts improved interoperability and design features, means that development of the new operating system is moving forward without any glitches.

"I expected Windows 10 to come out later and I'm surprised it's so early, but it goes to prove that everything is running smoothly," said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LANInfotech, a Microsoft partner based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "We've been demonstrating the Windows 10 previews to customers and there have been minimal flaws. Customers are excited, particularly by the old-school Windows Start button combined with the new Live Tiles format of the program bar."

[Related: 8 Things Microsoft Just Revealed About Windows 10 ]

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Microsoft revealed new information about the release date and other security measures surrounding Windows 10 at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community Summit in Shenzhen, China, Tuesday.

Since its launch in January, partners have had high hopes that the new operating system would win back customers who have been disappointed with Windows 8.

In addition to bringing back the Windows Start button, missing in Windows 8, the new OS improves Microsoft's trademark Live Tiles organization, part of an aim to win back customers who have not been fans of Windows 8's touch-based user interface. The OS also features a single management console for handling mobile devices and PCs, adopting increased interoperability measures as mobile device management becomes more vital for enterprise customers.

Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Ontario-based Xylotek Solutions, a Microsoft partner, hopes that the earlier-than-expected release date doesn't mean that Microsoft is being too hasty.

"I hope, as a consumer, that Microsoft is actually ahead of schedule with Windows 10 and not simply rushing to market for different reasons," said Grosfield. "This summer promises to be exciting times for consumers, and for the enterprise, as well as for partners who will start to see increased hardware sales to support Windows 10, migration projects for clients looking to move to the new operating system, and training opportunities as well. … Integration like we have not yet seen from Microsoft, specifically with the new version of their Office suite, means collaborative efforts will be more cohesive and feature-rich."

Another new feature of Windows 10 is Windows Hello, a biometric authentication platform that can help users provide instant access to their Windows 10 devices. The secure platform allows users to show their face or touch their fingers to devices with Windows 10 and be immediately recognized. In addition, the system enables users to authenticate applications and enterprise content without any passwords stored on the device or network server.

Grosfield and other partners said these security features are key to the operating system's success, but noted that the improvement could slow down Microsoft as the company maneuvers putting the new features on devices.

"Features such as Hello hit a 10 on the cool factor scale, but adoption or use of the features will, in part, be slowed down a bit due to the need for new hardware to fully support infrared scanning of one’s face or iris," Grosfield said. "Biometric security is truly becoming mainstream these days, though, so native support in the new Windows operating system is a huge step in acceptance and opens the door to increased security built right into your operating system."