That October release date is becoming ever closer.
We predicted it, and it’s coming true: Microsoft is introducing its OS in October, too
Windows 8 was almost a guarantee for a 2012 release, and it’s looks almost definite for an October 2012 release. The operating system was confirmed by Microsoft to be releasing this year.
The date means Microsoft is going after the iPad and the new wave of Android tablets, which Google could be launching in the Nexus line of tablets which will move away from Google’s tradition of offering one Nexus device. It also means the rumored October release date for Windows 8 is definitely on.
Mobile Bloom News reported that director of program management of Microsoft’s user experience team, Jensen Harris, said in a blog post the operating system would see the convergence of the tablet and laptop. As much as Apple has talked about not bringing the two form factors closer together, it is: OS X Mountain Lion is bringing iOS design to Macs through elements such as the drop-down Notification Center. It’s not through touch on Macs, but Apple’s still doing it.
Hardware coming by year’s end, but who?
Harris also said hardware for the OS is not available now but will be available by the end of 2012, again suggesting that winter release date is happening. Microsoft was reportedly meeting with OEMs around the middle to discuss launch strategy, so I expect a range of hardware in a range of form factors just as Microsoft did with Windows Phone 7. It would certainly give Microsoft an advantage over Apple.
We don’t know who will be releasing hardware, though. HP will probably be in, as might Dell. The latter reported earnings showing the PC market falling relative to the tablet market, so I expect Dell to produce hardware. They’re capable of producing solid hardware, too, and they’re a brand name consumers know and trust.
Harris said the uniqueness of the OS won’t change from now until the release, and he’s right. While Apple might reinvent iOS 6 at WWDC next month, and Google could unveil the next version of Android at its I/O conference, called Jelly Bean, Microsoft doesn’t need to make major changes. And it won’t need to, because there’s nothing like it. Unless others copy.