8 By 12: New Windows Incoming
Microsoft’s Windows 8 expected for RTM (Release to Manufacturing) by April 2012, rumors say.
Word on the street is that the new Windows is due early next year, with Microsoft planning to RTM Windows 8 for x86, Windows 8 for ARM/SoC (system on a chip) and Windows 8 Server simultaneously by the coming April, according to ZDNet.
Just like they did with Windows 7, there will be two beta builds this time around as well; first a sole Windows 8 beta build will be released at the time of Microsoft’s Build conference, and then a Release Candidate (RC) version at the start of next year, succeeded by the final release.
Microsoft is hoping to attract Windows, Azure, and Windows Phone developers to the Build conference, which is to be held at Anaheim, California from September 13, 2011 to September 16, 2011. Combined with the beta build release at the same time, the conference should help industry become acquainted with the new OS with time enough before its release. Microsoft is particularly keen on making sure that the software world is thoroughly prepared for the new OS’s release, so that some of the incompatibility issues and delayed support issues that plagued Vista and Windows 7 are removed for a better user experience. All this, in the long run, is of course to encourage users to upgrade to the new version.
There has been much confusion as to when the RTM will take place. Previously we heard that summer 2012 was being targeted as the release date, so April sounds a bit early by that yardstick. Plus, there was another rumor that Windows 8 would be available come January 7, 2013. However, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said Windows 8 is coming in 2012, a statement quickly denied by Microsoft.
It does seem, however, that given the current scenario, Windows 8 will be coming in 2012. The summer release might be a last resort, with April being the real target, in which case the new OS will definitely be in time for the holiday season. What’s for sure is that Microsoft has full plans to release 8 within 24-36 months of Windows 7. What’s not sure is if that means 2/3 years after Windows 7 was released or RTM-ed.
Stay tuned for future updates.
Oh, and by the way, this is the Windows 8 official preview from the Microsoft Partner Preview some time ago.