Report: Microsoft Windows 8 set for October release

By Lee Kaelin on March 20, 2012, 9:00 AM

Microsoft plans to finish working on its Windows 8 operating system this summer and have it ready for personal computers and tablets in October, according to unnamed sources familiar with the matter speaking with Bloomberg.

The sources also revealed that the Redmond-based company plans to release both the traditional x86 version of Windows 8 and the new ARM version at the same time. It is expected that five ARM-based devices will feature the new OS on launch day, with more expected in the future.

According to the sources, three of them will be ARM-based tablets, and Microsoft’s tight control of the number is to ensure extensive quality control standards are kept to, so that the first devices exceed consumer expectations.

In many ways it makes sense, as the software house is an expert at crafting operating systems using the x86 architecture, but this is their first attempt at providing consumers with an identical version on ARM-based devices. By limiting the initial offering of ARM devices it frees the company to focus extensively on each one to ensure they operate as expected.

A launch around this time would also be ideal for Microsoft to target Christmas shoppers and claw back some of the consumer interest that has largely focused on Apple products over the course of the last year.

"If they miss the September-October time frame, they’re going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner, speaking to Bloomberg. He continued, "the last thing Microsoft wants to have is a situation where there are no compelling Windows tablets at a time when the new iPad looks like it’s going to be a good seller for the holidays."

They also revealed that the company will host an event next month with industry partners, in which they will detail their release strategy for the new OS, as well as marketing and pricing information.

Microsoft has not responded to requests for further comment, but Steven Sinofsky has stated on the Building Windows 8 MSDN blog repeatedly that the company plans to release both architectures at the same time.

User Comments: 26

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SCJake said:

woo fkin hoo! vista 2.0! and win7 is xp 2.0. i think ill stick with 7

Butch said:

You know after playing with the Win8 Preview for the last couple of weeks I have to say I am really torn. It seems really good in some areas and really bad in others. The switching between Metro and the desktop just feels awkward. It's like Metro is just a simple overlay or something. However, some the Metro Apps I tried were pretty darn cool. I really think M$ should have made Metro a 2nd OS for tablets and left Win7 alone.

Guest said:

I think I'll pass. At least where my desktop PC is concerned. Windows 7 has been very good to me both feature and performance wise, and is in no way broken to me, unlike Vista. Remember - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

I'm going to take a pass on this one too. This tablet craze is a little excessive when it starts to bleed over into what should be good desktop computing experiences. For now, windows 7 is handling things quite nicely.

nismo91 said:

i think i will get a win8 tablet. well my desktop pc should keep using win7, hell, even my laptop should retain using its original vista sp2 64bit. there isnt point upgrading to win8 my system doesn't have touchscreen input.

AccordXTC said:

I'd have to stick with Win 7 they finally had it right and hasnt really had to many issues.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Windows 8 for desktop users is a bad joke. If they release it in the current form, I won't touch it.

On another hand, we are closing on to an era when the only application that matters is the web browser, making the environment less and less relevant.

Guest said:

they are just doing anti of their gaming console policy where they said they will not release new xbox since current one is doing well and when win7 is doing well they are releasing a new one.

i want MS to take their time and release new os in late 2013 or even early 2014 because i dont want a vista part 2. and if they are going to release it anyway. i am not going to buy it

Guest said:

Unless they disable Metro, I'm sticking with Windows 7.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Guest said:

Unless they disable Metro, I'm sticking with Windows 7.


Guest said:

I'm sure they'll release Metro just as a Theme that you can opt-out.

Arris Arris said:

Guest said:

Unless they disable Metro, I'm sticking with Windows 7.


tonylukac said:

VitalyT said:

On another hand, we are closing on to an era when the only application that matters is the web browser, making the environment less and less relevant.

In that case, why are all those tiles for applications in metro? I don't think microsoft is thinking clearly.

spectrenad said:

i dont think they are aiming to replace win7, at least not yet. they just want to get in the tablet/phone business before its too late, and took the opportunity to make a new OS wich would be compatible through all devices. i think its a step in the right direction, but theres still work to do.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Isn't it time we call, "Windows 8", by its true name, the name that cannot be spoken, "Vista 2".....!

Phraun said:

Let me know when they fix the Metro problem that infested it.

Guest said:

We could march up to microsoft HQ with picket signs that say, "We want the start button back!" as we chant it over and over.

Guest said:

Occupy Microsoft. xD

Guest said:

xp good vista bad 7 good 8?

igotdembombs said:

But the start up times are fantabulous. And I think the idea behind using metro is to save battery. Also, x86 and ARM? When is the x64 coming out?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

x64 is out for the Consumer Preview, don't see any reason it wouldn't have the same release date as x86.

sapo joe said:

I just hope they get into senses and release it with an option to turn off that Metro bullsh*t.... Otherwise, I'm sticking with windows 2008 R2 x64 forever...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Makes you want to run out and buy an OEM 3 pack of Windows 7, doesn't it....?

Guest said:

It seems like they are targeting the tablet and the phone(wp8 based on win8 kernel)platforms with this release.But since they've made this aim of 3 screens and a cloud strategy and to deliver a consistent user experience across platforms they are also launching the OS on the desktop platform.they also don't want to be left behind in the touch screen craze on the desktop (their biggest market till now).As in like lets give them the option to use it on the desktop and see the trends and accordingly plan their next OS release. If it bombs on the desktop scene but takes off in the tablet market;Mission accomplished (as win7 continues on the desktop), and they don't lose the desktop market and finally (after 10+ yrs of pushing tablet)they'll be able to gain a foothold in the tablet market.

Not a bad strategy it seems

sapo joe said:

I did that two years ago... Only my main PC is running on windows 2008.. The others are with Windows 7 x64.

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