Microsoft to release Windows 8 in 2012?


Last week, we reported on the successful one year anniversary of Windows 7. Microsoft’s newest operating system has proven to be its most successful yet, selling more than 240 million licenses in its first year. Amid the celebration, Microsoft’s Dutch website spoke up about the company’s future plans, stating that Microsoft is working hard on Windows 8, but it’s release is still about two years away.

The offending paragraph has since been removed, CNET reports. In its place is a new sentence which says that the first Service Pack for Windows 7 is in testing and will be released in the first half of 2011.

A 2012 release would put the gap between Windows 7 and 8 at about three years. The gap between Vista and 7 was about three years, and the gap between Windows XP and Vista was five years. The company has said that it doesn’t plan to ever wait five years between major releases again.

Microsoft’s riskiest bet

At the Gartner Symposium last week, Steve Ballmer stated that Windows 8 would be the company’s biggest gamble, says Electronista. He did not provide details on why. Little is known about the next version of Windows, but a leaked set of slides show that the company may be focusing on USB 3.0, touch, facial recognition, Kinect-like gestures, fast boot-up times, and a Windows App Store, similar to the Mac Apps Store that Apple just announced. The operating system will likely incorporate the cloud quite a bit as well.

In February, a MS employee posted about the next version of Windows: “the next version will be something completly [sic] different from what folks usually expect of Windows,” said the employee in a blog. “I am simply impressed with the process that Steven has setup to listen to our customers needs and wants and get a team together than can make it happen. To actually bring together dozens and dozens of teams across Microsoft to come up with a vision for is a process that is surreal! The themes that have been floated truly reflect what people have been looking for years and it will change the way people think about PCs and the way they use them. It is the future of PCs…”

What will the next version of Windows look like? Will Microsoft take some cues from Apple and adopt a more smartphone-like organization for its OS?