Microsoft sets Windows 10's consumer reveal for Jan. 21

Official launch now 'early fall,' according to COO's latest schedule

Windows 10 on Microsoft Surface PC tablet

Microsoft has scheduled more Windows 10 revelations for Jan. 21, 2015, sending invitations today to journalists, reviewers and bloggers.

The day-long event will take place at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash. campus, and will provide "more details on the Windows 10 consumer experience," according to the invitation. Previously, Microsoft had promised that it would disclose the upcoming operating system's consumer-side features and focus in early 2015.

Microsoft will also use the event to issue another Windows 10 preview to replace the string it has released since the original Sept. 30 launch of the enterprise-centric Technical Preview.

Windows 10 January event invite

That September event was held in San Francisco, and featured a pair of top Windows executives, Terry Myerson, who leads the company's operating systems group, and Joe Belfiore, a vice president responsible for Windows' design.

Myerson and Belfiore will present at the January event, as well. CEO Satya Nadella will also participate, as will Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox video gaming console division.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said that the event's morning keynote will be publicly webcast, which would put this presentation in sync with some of Microsoft's 2014 launches, including the March debut of Office for iPad and its May introduction of the Surface Pro 3. Nadella participated in both.

September's Windows 10 unveiling, however, was not webcast, although Microsoft later made a recorded version available.

Analysts have been generally upbeat about what Microsoft has shown so far of Windows 10, although some have expressed concerns about its chances of turning around a stagnant PC industry if falling hardware prices decimate the premium part of the business.

Microsoft's scheduling of a larger Windows 10 event in January -- by the scant details of the invitation, it will be both larger and longer than the September debut -- fits with what Gartner analyst Michael Silver said in October.

"Microsoft can't make a big bang and talk about a new version of Windows in September with the holidays coming and consumers deciding that 'if Windows 10 is coming, I'm just going to wait and not buy a PC,'" Silver said then.

At one point Microsoft was pegging the official launch of Windows 10 as mid-2015. Last week, however, chief operating officer Kevin Turner told a technology conference's attendees that it would be "late summer and early fall." Today Turner modified that to "early fall" in an interview with Japan's The Nikkei.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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