Microsoft's Windows 10 coming sooner than expected

Microsoft had been staying tight lipped about the official launch date of its newest operating system, Windows 10. But after a retailer leaked information about upcoming availability for hardware manufacturers, Microsoft revealed its plans.

The company said Monday that Windows 10 will come out July 29, ahead of the reported fall release that many were anticipating. The launch couldn't come sooner for many Microsoft customers who have been widely dissatisfied with the current version, Windows 8. Microsoft has distanced itself from the clunker by skipping right over Windows 9 and going straight to 10.

Consumers were particularly irked by the tiled look of Windows 8, which was intended to create a seamless transition for users between their desktops, laptops, tablets and phones by making them all look alike. The new operating system dispenses with the forced matchy-matchiness and provides "a tailored experience for each device," according to a statement Microsoft put out in September.

"This feels a lot more familiar if you've stayed away for a while," said CNET editor Dan Ackerman.

Ackerman said that having played with the new OS a bit, there are still some bugs and issues that need to be worked out, but it is "a lot better at this early version of the experience than Windows 8 was."

The new version will be offered as a free upgrade for current Windows users.

Ackerman said Microsoft "has its fingers crossed," that users will come out in force for it (which will make it easier for the company to push future updates across its customer base). The company is hoping that Windows 10 will raise its flagging esteem in both the home and mobile markets.

  • Amanda Schupak

    Amanda Schupak is the science and technology editor at CBSNews.com