It now appears that Microsoft's launch of Windows 10 will be more a whimper than a big bang.
In a blog post, Windows boss Terry Myerson posted overnight he admitted that not everyone who wanted to download the new software would be able to do so on the previously announced launch date on July 29. (The date for volume-licensed corporate deployments of the Windows 10 enterprise and educational versions is August 1.) Specific groups of users would be able to download their updates starting on that date, he wrote.
First in line, Myerson wrote, would be people who participated in Microsoft's "insider" program for Windows 10, essentially a crowd-sourced stress test of the software. Next would be users with existing Windows devices who "reserved" a copy of Windows 10 by clicking an online button.
"We will start notifying reserved systems in waves, slowly scaling up after July 29th," Myerson wrote. "Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users."
A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to describe how many users would be served in each wave, how the waves would be scheduled, how many waves were expected, or when the distribution process would be completed. She said it was too early to say when a given person in the queue might receive Windows 10.
Microsoft has also released yet another preview build of Windows 10, but this time it's all about spit shining the OS so that it "looks good".
Build 10162 - the third released to Insiders in four days - doesn't offer anything in the way of new features, with Microsoft now in the process of adding 'final polish.'
"We're focused at this point on bug fixing and final polish," Gabe Aul said of the rapid releases this week, "so it's much easier for each build to get all the way through than earlier in the cycle when we're adding big new features."
As for the contents of Build 10162, well Microsoft says it's the best yet in terms of reliability, performance, battery life and compatibility.
"Build 10162 is another great one," Aul wrote on the Windows blog: "In fact, our testing and internal telemetry metrics show it has better reliability, performance, battery life, and compatibility than any Windows 10 Insider Preview build so far."