Windows 8 could be less than a year away. Microsoft is reportedly hard at work to wrap up Windows 8 in less than 10 months.
A new major iteration of Windows every two to three years is the only confirmed timetable for the next version of Windows, also impacting Windows 7’s successor.
Microsoft has yet to confirm any deadlines for Windows 8, be them related to the release or to the milestones of the development process.
However, according to information from a trusted source (via Mary-Jo Foley), Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing sometime by April 2012.
Previously, various reports indicated that the software giant was planning to launch Windows 8 in the second half of 2012, and that the RTM Build would also be produced around mid-2012.
If the latest rumor is true, then, the gold Build of Windows 8 will be available at least to a select number of users months ahead of the summer of 2012, which can only be good news.
With no actual confirmation from Microsoft, the April 2012 RTM deadline for Windows 8 needs to be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism, despite the fact that, at least on some level it does make sense.
Microsoft has already established the fact that Windows 8 will hit store shelves less than three years after the general availability of Windows 7, which was lauched in October 2009.
Steven Sinofsky, President, Windows and Windows Live Division emphasized recently that “every two to three years is a good release,” speaking about new iterations of Windows.
So what if the release of Windows 8 won’t come two years or three years after Windows 7, but actually two and a half years? With Sinofsky leading the Windows project, deadlines have been beaten before, and by quite a few months. It could happen again, fingers crossed.
Microsoft will apparently offer Windows 8 Beta sometime around the BUILD conference in September 2011, not a pre-Beta development milestone, but the actual, fully-fledged Beta.
In addition, early adopters won’t need to wait all that long for the Release Candidate, with Windows 8 RC expected in January 2012.
As usual, the RC will be the last development milestone ahead of the RTM Build, which will be finalized by April 2012. According to the source, all Windows 8 flavors are planned for RTM at the same time.
Users need to understand that RTM and General Availability are two different things, and that Windows 8 won’t be available commercially until a few months after it has gone gold.