Windows 8 M3 has been leaked recently. Could that mean that Microsoft will start working on a first Windows 8 beta client very soon with a release scheduled for late Q3 or early Q4?
Tech news site and downloads portal Softpedia reported last week that they have gotten their hands on the “Windows 8 Build 6.2.7959.0 Milestone 3 (M3)”. If it is actually true and the build number is authentic, then this is a very significant build because it would mean that Microsoft is closing in on the build 8000, which is when they typically release the OS for Beta testing.
Release Date Confusion Still Reigns The Rumors
The build that Softpedia is talking about seems to have been compiled on March 7 2011 — information gleaned from the number string of the full release name.
According to CentrumXP, the build “Build 6.2.7996.0.winmain_win8m3.110429-181” is what developers now have access to. The number in the naming string (110429) seems to be indicating a release date of 29 April 2011. Which would again support the theory that the Beta release is almost ready to be pushed out.
However, an earlier rumor suggested that Microsoft would be busy working on the M3 release from February to July of this year. But with a finished build in May, that scheduled seems to have been pushed forward quite a bit. This is what creates the suspicion about the authenticity of the claims because in all likelihood either one is a false claim.
Microsoft is supposed to be finishing work on Milestone 3 and then working on a single beta release with final release candidate coming up before the actual launch in late 2012 or early 2013. So right now, the confusion regarding the actual release date will only see some light when Microsoft finally releases the beta version.
Faster Release Cycles For Windows
Microsoft is said to be moving towards a faster release cycle that is closer to what Apple does with their OS X at the moment. However, it is still unclear how the increased release frequency will affect the pricing of the major releases.
In the meantime, there’s a general belief in the industry that Microsoft might be releasing a public beta at the PDC 2011 (Professional Developers Conference) to be held between September 13-16 in Anaheim California.