Windows 8 ETA: 2012, Beta Possible in 2011

Windows 8 should be with us in a couple of years. One of Microsoft's subsidiaries leaked the expected release date over the weekend. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers work backwards to calculate the beta download schedule.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention wet dogs...

Tom Warren goes Dutch:

Microsoft has been ... tight lipped about Windows 8 availability but a posting on Microsoft's Dutch ... site hints at a two year wait. "Furthermore, Microsoft is on course for the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years" ... said a posting celebrating the first birthday of Windows 7. ... The software giant isn't planning to rush the next version of Windows out of the door. More . . .

Ina Fried adds:

A Microsoft representative ... declined to comment or elaborate on the blog posting. Indeed, Microsoft executives from ... Steven Sinofsky on down have been hesitant to say anything about ... future Windows plans. ... [But] Microsoft's server team did say last year that a major release of Windows Server was due in 2012 and server versions typically slightly lag a desktop release. It's going to be a very long two years for Microsoft if it can't better address Apple's moves in the tablet and notebook models before Windows 8. More . . .

Lauren Indvik picks up that ball and runs with it:

Given that Apple will at minimum release its new ... Lion operating system by that time ... Windows 8 will have to develop some impressive features to stay competitive. Yet a three-year gap between operating systems is nothing new for Microsoft. ... [It] has historically taken much more time to develop and deploy new versions ... than Apple.
...
There was a five-year gap between Windows XP and Vista, a delay so painful that ... Steve Ballmer publicly pledged that the company would never again allow such a long period to elapse between releases. More . . .

Wolfgang Gruener schedules backwards:

If the time frame is correct, then we know that Microsoft should be within three to six months of a milestone M1 release that is provided to the company's closest partners. . . . Several years ago, Microsoft revealed that it may soon be necessary to rewrite the entire Windows code ... to make the software more secure and respond to progress in computer hardware. At that time, the company announced the Singularity project ... a research operating system that includes many new ideas of Microsoft's researchers. Windows 8 could and probably needs [to] integrate some of the Singularity ideas. More . . .

Alex Zaharov-Reutt reckons mid-2012 sounds about right

Any release needs to be RTM'd ... by mid-year so there's plenty of time for OEMs to tweak Windows 8 well before year's end ... to get PCs and devices on shelves for the back-to-school season and ... the all-important end-of-year/Christmas/holiday shopping. ... There's no point releasing an OS in January as happened with Vista! We should really start seeing a pre-beta from mid-2011, a beta by late 2011, and at least one release candidate in early 2012. More . . .

But Kevin Schram yawns

Cue shock and awe from the tech blog echo chamber, but why are we surprised? ... This is actually how Microsoft did it in the old days (Windows 3.1 -> 95 -> 98). They got off the track with Windows ME and XP. What could we see in Windows 8? Microsoft insiders have hinted that we could see some sort of Kinect support in the operating system. ... Crazy? Maybe, but just keep in mind ... that Microsoft spent a metric fortune developing the tech behind Kinect. Way too much, in fact, to restrict it's use to video games. More . . .

And the award for most bizarre analysis goes to... Anthony Garreffa:

Hopefully the world doesn't end first being that it will be released in 2012. ... Maybe Nostradamus torrented Windows 8 with a time machine? More . . .

And Finally...

The physics behind wet dog shaking

[hat tip: Ant]

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

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