Windows 10: Still no new beta in sight

Windows honcho Terry Myerson spreads the religion at WinHEC in Shenzhen, but testers come up empty-handed

Windows 10: Still no new beta in sight
Credit: Thinkstock

Last night, Terry Myerson gave the keynote at the WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Community) conference in Shenzhen. Myerson posted the highlights of his talk on Blogging Windows.

For Westerners, there were no significant surprises. For people in Asia, the main developments were the following:

  • Cortana will be available in Mandarin.
  • The announcement of 2,500 Lenovo “fill up” centers for Windows 10 in China, making it possible to install the update without downloading it.
  • A new Metro/Universal app for the QQ instant messaging/voice/video system. Internationally, QQ dwarfs Skype. It’s currently available for iOS, Android, Windows, and OS X. Tencent, the owner of QQ, has also agreed to put its flagship games on Windows 10.
  • Qihoo 360, an antivirus/Web browser behemoth, will offer “seamless upgrades” to Win10 “with accelerated download speeds.”
  • An undefined number of Xiaomi customers will be able to run the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones.

Easily lost in the verbiage: Those Xiaomi Win10 testers will be using Mi 4 phones, which currently run Android. Jon Russell at TechCrunch reports:

Neither Microsoft nor Xiaomi provided specific details of the Windows 10 software being trialled, but TechCrunch understands from sources that it effectively overrides Android, turning the Xiaomi phone into a Windows 10 device complete with Microsoft services. (Which the company hopes will dazzle Android owners into making the switch.)

That’s to say that the software doesn’t offer a dual boot option, which Microsoft has pushed in the past in India. This is a ROM, based on Windows, that operates much like software from Cyanogen -- a company Microsoft was incorrectly linked with an investment in -- and other custom ROMs developed by the likes of Tencent and Baidu in China.

Myerson also took advantage of the opportunity to talk about Windows Hello -- the new Win10 technology that’s slated to replace passwords with biometric authentication on properly equipped computers -- and Win10 IoT devices.

Reuters this morning reports that Myerson confirmed in a telephone conversation what appeared to be running between the lines of his blog:

"We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10," he said in a telephone interview with Reuters. The plan is to "re-engage" with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without elaboration.

What’s missing, of course, is any hint of a new beta build of Windows 10. It’s been 54 days since build 9926 shipped, and the leaked build 10036 contains little that’s new. We’ve seen basically nothing of the promised technology -- Project Spartan, expanded Cortana, Metro Outlook, malleable Start menu, and many more -- aside from a few well-scripted demos.

The first day of summer is 96 days away. The last day of summer is 189 days away. Do the math.

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