It’s looking like Microsoft want to finish work on Windows 8 this summer and release it later this year. An April event will apparently brief industry partners and prepare them for the launch in October 2012.
Rumour suggests Microsoft will launch its newest OS in October this year, with Intel and ARM devices
In contrast to the flurry of next-gen Xbox rumours, we haven’t heard too much about when Windows 8 will release outside of pure speculation. Well, sources speaking to Bloomberg report that we could be touching Metro this October.
According to people “with knowledge of the schedule,” development on the operating system will finish this summer. The devices that will launch with the OS will feature Intel and ARM chips, according to the sources. Microsoft had previously promised to support both platforms. The sources declined to be named, because the “plans” are confidential unsurprisingly.
Despite support for Intel and ARM chips, there will apparently be fewer than five ARM devices in comparison to more than 40 Intel machines.
Microsoft are feeling the pressure of the iPad, which achieved 3 million sales with the third generation device launching this week. Launching in October would achieve a close-to-Christmas release, maximising sales for the new OS and ensuring support is available from Day One.
Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner Inc, said “they’re going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012” if the September-October window is missed. As Gartenberg went on to say, not launching at Christmas would be bad for Microsoft considering sales for the new iPad will undoubtedly be high during the winter.
The source also said Microsoft will also be hosting an event in April for “industry partners.” At the event Microsoft will also reveal details on timing and marketing, and its release strategy.
On why there will be fewer ARM-based tablets, there are apparently two reasons: Microsoft is controlling the number, and the company has set “rigorous quality-control standards.” The people speaking to Bloomberg also said that there will be three tablets at launch, which will be ARM-based. Windows 7 only used Intel chips, while smartphones can use ARM.
Steven Sinosky had previously said that the aim is for Intel and ARM devices to launch at the same time: “Our collective goal is for them to ship at the same time.”
Spokesmen for Microsoft and Intel declined to comment.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available for download now, for free.