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A "beta" of Windows 8 is expected to launch in September or October; the retail version is expected to launch approximately a year later.
New operating system is company's "riskiest" yet

Sporting a Metro-UI inspired makeover, support for ARM architecture CPUs, and putting Ribbons in places that some people might not be ready for (e.g. Windows Explorer), Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) upcoming Windows 8 is the software giant's "riskiest product", according to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

At a promotional event for September's BUILD conference, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President Dan'l Lewin let the company's purported launch schedule slip.  He said that a beta would land soon after the conference and the OS would go through a year of tune-up testing before being officially launched in September/October 2012.

That launch date "makes sense" as it's in line with most past Windows launches, which typically came in the Fall.

Windows 8 will follow the best-selling Windows 7 operating system, which launched in Oct. 2009.  Its development cycle will last approximately three years -- about the same as that of Windows 7, which replaced the Jan. 2007 launched Vista. (It is worth noting that Vista took approximately five years to develop.)

Mr. Lewin defended Microsoft's decision to use Windows 8 for tablets, rather than the Windows Phone operating system.  He said the decision will enhance enterprise security.  And he argues putting a smart phone operating system on a tablet amounts to "compromising" the user experience -- he says users want PC features in their tablets.

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RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By Jammrock on 6/15/2011 12:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Rumor is the ARM (i.e. tablet) version will hit before the desktop (x86) version.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By acer905 on 6/15/2011 12:54:15 PM , Rating: 2
That would make sense. You strip out a bunch of the fluff that Windows needs for its endless backwards compatibility with 10+ year old hardware, and the OS becomes much more streamlined. And, if they hold stricter requirements on the tablet front than the standard PC front, there is less testing to do, less worries about oddball hardware making the OS unstable.

Really, it should be out first.

By theArchMichael on 6/15/2011 12:59:48 PM , Rating: 1
Also, I know a lot of people don't like MS but I think it is fairly indisputable that Windows 7 is pretty slick. To be honest, if it hit in December 2011, I couldn't see people rushing out to the store to grab it unless it was a fairly amazing upgrade over 7 with some solid extra features. Like WinFS!!!!! ( I know this isn't happening but it would be cool).

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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