While Microsoft hasn’t confirmed a release date for the next version of Windows, Bloomberg reported last night that Windows 8 will be finalized this summer, and sales of both Intel-based PCs and ARM devices will begin “around October.”
More than 40 Intel-based PCs (including some tablets, presumably) will be available in the initial Windows 8 rollout, compared to “fewer than five ARM devices,” Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources. The low number of ARM devices was attributed to the fact that “Microsoft has tightly controlled the number and set rigorous quality-control standards.”
Microsoft will talk about its release strategy in April at an event for partners, according to Bloomberg. Given the reported timing, it’s possible the Windows 8 RTM (release to manufacturing) could occur around the time of Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference in July.
In 2009, Windows 7 was debuted in a beta in January, released to manufacturing in July, and hit retail in October. With a Windows 8 “Consumer Preview” having been released at the end of February of this year, it would make sense for a final version to hit consumer devices by the end of 2012 at the latest.
By Jon Brodkin