Microsoft VP hints at Windows 8 release in fall '12

Speaking at a Microsoft event, VP Dan'l Lewis lays out the likely scenario for Windows 8, from initial beta to final release, according to reports.

Windows 8's Start menu, for now. Screenshot by CNET of Microsoft video

Windows 8 is scheduled to launch in fall 2012, according to hints dropped by one of the company's corporate vice presidents.

Speaking last week at an event at Microsoft's campus in Mountain View, Calif., Dan'l Lewin, Microsoft corporate vice president for Strategic and Emerging Business Development, laid out the likely scenario for Windows 8, from initial beta to final release, according to TechRadar and other sources.

Asking people to look into the crystal ball and assume that "what happened in the past is a reasonable indicator of what our forward looking timelines will be and just speculate--we've made the point about having a developer conference later this year, and then typically we enter a beta phase, and then in 12 months we're in the market, so let's make that assumption," said Lewin, according to TechRadar.

Microsoft typically holds its Professional Developers Conference sometime in the early fall, with this year's conference, now known as Build, scheduled to kick off September 13. Assuming the first Windows 8 beta hits the market shortly following the conference, as Lewin suggested, that points to the final release of the new OS reaching consumers in fall 2012.

Microsoft declined CNET's request today to comment on the Windows 8 launch.

Next year has long been rumored as the one in which Windows 8 will launch. Microsoft may have first tipped its hand at 2009's PDC in which the company suggested a major update to Windows Server in 2012, with a slide confirming the Windows 8 name. CEO Steve Ballmer recently revealed 2012 as the year Windows 8 would debut, though his own company quickly shot down his comment as a "misstatement."

Microsoft demoed Windows 8 earlier this month at the D9 conference in California. Windows President Steven Sinofsky called the product Windows 8--though he said that was just a code name--and touted the upcoming OS as one that would be geared for desktops, laptops, and tablets.

Sinofsky added that refreshing Windows "every two or three years is good." Windows 7 officially launched in October 2009. Since Windows 8 certainly won't be ready this fall, Sinofsky's comment also adds some credence to a fall 2012 release for the next generation of Windows.

Updated at 9:10 a.m. PT with Microsoft's statement and the video.

 

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