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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 Akrovah on 6/15/2011 3:19:57 PM , Rating: 1
I have the same, yet opposite feeling.
Since the tablet runs Windows, if you get one on x86 (possible with the low power CPUs AMD and Intel are promising) you still can run all your current softwre on the tablet. Thats where I agree with you as that is also excatly what I am waiting for in a tablet.

Where I have the opposite reaction is teh desktop replacement. If you'v got a windows 8 tablet just set it up in a docking cradle with a couple of USB ports on it and you have an instant desktop. They already have cradles similar to this for iPad so it is not out of the realm of possibility.

I see only two things you loose. The first is storage, but anymore most households (especially techie households) would probably benefit from a small storage server, if they don't ahve one already.

The second is gaming. Personaly I have decided I no longer wish to deal with the instability and compatibility issues of PC gaming and have already begun my migration to a console centric gaming lifestyle, but many (especially those who frequent these boards) may not agree with me on that.


RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By B3an on 6/15/2011 7:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
Theres loads other things apart from storage and gaming that you would lose when going to a tablet+dock setup like with the Asus Transformer (no idea why you mentioned iPad gimmicks).

You'd have vastly less processing power and less RAM. Forget doing any remotely demanding work or tasks.
Multiply monitor setups you'd also lose. Maybe you could connect one monitor but i doubt 2 or more.
And obviously you wouldn't be able to upgrade anything, or add PCI-E cards as with a desktop.
Way less connector ports (USB or others).
No overclocking (not much anyway) because of not being able to change cooling or having a BIOS/UEFI made for it.
Even if you had external storage you'd still lose performance, it's not like you can dump a high performance SSD in a tablet or RAID them.

I'd definitely replace my laptop with a Win8 tablet+dock though. But for desktop, tablets could never be as fast or as customisable because of the form factor so there will always be a need for desktops. I can see a tablet+dock being enough for many basic users though.


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