Microsoft Corp. has scheduled the release of Windows 10 for “early” next fall, an executive said Thursday. The announcement clarifies earlier reports that said Microsoft’s latest operating system would be ready by summer.

It means Microsoft will likely miss the back-to-school season, a popular time for computer purchases, unless it is able to get an almost-finished preview of Windows 10 to its manufacturing partners earlier than it has suggested. The extended time frame is due to Windows 10 being a “complete reboot” of the world’s most popular operating system, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Windows 10’s release comes three years after Windows 8, whose touchscreen-centric user interface became unpopular with many longtime Windows users. At the time, Microsoft was forced to advertise a free update to Windows 7 users who bought a PC shortly before the release of its “Metro” OS.

Microsoft has been touting a new “rapid release cycle” since last year, as it assured consumers that it had paid attention to the poor reception for Windows 8.  Microsoft needs the extra time to complete Windows 10 because the company is attempting to unify its efforts, allowing the OS to work on machines that run Windows 7, as well as Windows Phone and its Xbox One video game console, according to Paul Thurrott, creator of and Windows IT Pro senior technical analyst.

Windows 9 was originally an attempt by Microsoft to distance itself from a “disastrous” earlier version, but was “essentially” Windows 8.2, Thurrott said. The delay comes as the company attempts to do more, and make Windows 10 into a single, unifying platform capable of working on the small devices that make up the “Internet of Things,” along with phones, tablets, PCs and the Xbox One.