Earlier today at Build, Microsoft held a special gathering of media and journalists to meet with some of the Windows leadership team. The purpose of the event was less formal, and more of a chance to interact with and ask questions. As such, video and photos were discouraged.
To kick off the nearly two-hour event, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore gave an introductory talk about some aspects of Windows 10 not yet widely known. One of those was in regards to the planned release cycle of Windows 10 updates and new hardware, including the phone.
For a few months now, Microsoft has been claiming that Windows 10 would be released "this summer". However, the status of Windows Phone in that release was not made too clear. Today we learned that, as many have guessed, Windows Phone will come out a bit later. Belfiore would not commit to a more definitive time frame, although it did not sound like it was that much later.
Indeed, we could be talking only a few weeks here, as this was intimated by Belfiore in his comments. What Microsoft is not promising at this time is a same-day release for everything. Fair enough.
Reasons for a staggered release
For those in the Windows Insider program, it should be obvious that Windows 10 for desktop is released earlier than the Windows Phone version by a few weeks and ahead by numerous builds. This discrepancy translates into the resultant staggered release plan for Windows 10 after the desktop version goes out.
Microsoft is targeting desktop first because it is their largest number of users when compared to phone customers. From that perspective, hitting your biggest group first makes total sense when devoting resources. This delay is not to say they find phone less important, certainly not. These are just the realities of making a unified operating system.
HoloLens, Surface Hub, and Xbox One were also on that list of coming later on, presumably this year. The good news here is Microsoft can use these staggered updates and releases to keep their achievements in the tech news cycle for the rest of the year. It also takes some pressure off of trying to line up such massive releases for all systems on the same day.