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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 blazeoptimus on 6/15/2011 4:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
"They have some amazing features, and because it's Windows it will still run all the programs I want."

Your assuming that your Tablet will run x86. Its likely that a good portion of the tablets will run on ARM (this was one of the main reasons to port win 8 to arm). If your tablet is ARM based, your programs will need to be recompiled to run natively on Win8. Even if the ARM port contains an x86 emulator, so that the existing library of Microsoft titles just runs, emulators are notoriously slow. This would likely produce an undesirable user experience (a 2Ghz processor runs similar to 500-600mhz processor in emulation). Some of the native porting could be simplified if the program relies heavily on .net (depending on which versions of .net win 8 supports).

At this point you may be asking "well what about atom, branzo, or Ultra Mobile i3 based tablets?". While those would defiantly "just run" your software, they incur a penalty in form factor and battery life. Most reviews indicate that current, and even near future x86 based tablets, run hotter and for shorter times than there ARM counterparts. This, again, is part of the reason why Windows has ported version 8 to the ARM architecture.

Mostly I'm trying to say that a tablet without compromise isn't currently possible, and won't be possible in the near term. You'll likely have to make a good deal of sacrifices somewhere. Which sacrifices your willing to live with is up to you.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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