An online retailer may have accidentally solved the mystery of when Windows 10 will be released.
The new version of Microsoft's widely used operating system will be delivered to original equipment manufacturers on August 31, according to listings at Newegg.com, which is also taking pre-orders for the software. The Home edition will cost hardware makers $109, while the Professional version will run $149, according to the listings, which were first spotted by ZDNet. (UPDATE, June 1 at 6:03 a.m. PT: Microsoft today officially announced the .)
In keeping with most major tech product releases, an exact release date for Windows 10 has been a closely guarded secret. Microsoftthat Windows 10 would launch this sometime this summer, and while developers hoped for something more definitive during the Build developer conference last month, the company was still mum.
Assuming Newegg's information is accurate, consumers should have Windows 10 in their hands before the end of summer, in line with comments made in March by Windows chief Terry Myerson. ZDNet's Ed Bott points out that Newegg also jumped the gun on Windows 8 preorders in 2012.
Microsoft declined to comment on the veracity of Newegg's information, but a spokeswoman did reiterate that the company was planning a summer launch of the software and "we look forward to sharing more details about how the upgrade will be offered at a later date."
The company has lofty goals for the new operating system, its first big chance to move beyond the missteps of Windows 8. Microsoft has promised that Windows 10 -- a free upgrade for those usingor -- will run across every device, from desktops with large hard drives all the way down to low-cost smartphones with barely a gigabyte to spare.
Microsoft won't be alone in hoping for a warm reception for Windows 10. Sales of PCs to consumers and businesses alike have been anemic for quarter after quarter, taking a toll on the companies that sell PCs or make key ingredients for them. In March, chipmakerby nearly $1 billion, reflecting an enduring reluctance, especially among small and midsize businesses, to upgrade from the 13-year-old Windows XP.
With Windows 10, the company has gone back to basics, marrying the look and feel of Windows 7 with more modern design touches. The Start Menu is front and center again, and Microsoft is hoping to appease power users and those that depend on Windows in the workplace after Windows 8 was soundly rejected worldwide.
Gone is the tiled interface, once called Metro, that became the splashy and controversial face of Windows 8. But we can expect live tiles -- those interactive squares central to that design -- to live on. In an early look at the Start Menu during the Windows 10 unveiling in September, live tiles for social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter were present alongside squares for email and Skype.
Updated May 31 at 11 a.m. PT with Microsoft comment. Updated June 1 at 6:03 a.m. PT: Added official release date from Microsoft.