Windows 8 likely coming out fall 2012

Posted by Mark Raby

There are new details about exactly when Windows 8 will be hitting store shelves.

So far, Microsoft has only mentioned Windows 8 plans to be released next year, but there has been no finer launch window discussed.

The company's corporate VP Dan'l Lewin, however, apparently hinted at an autumn target.

During an event at Microsoft's corporate campus in Silicon Valley, Lewin said, "We will be in market - if you look at the crystal ball and just say 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."

In addition to replacing its Windows 7 operating system on the millions of traditional notebook and desktop PCs sold every year, Windows 8 has another target in mind. For the first time, Microsoft is developing its computer software so that it can easily be tailored for non-traditional computing devices.

Microsoft announced earlier this year that some versions of Windows 8 will use standard Intel chips, while others - those optimized for tablets and mobile gadgets - will work on ARM technology.

And it's not just going to be one ARM-based Windows operating system. There will be four different versions of the OS running on ARM.

Tablets, specialized electronics, and other gadgets will all get their own version of Windows 8. To date, the idea of a Windows 7 tablet has made some rumblings, but because it is so strictly built for a standard computer, it's been difficult for Microsoft to introduce it as a solid tablet platform.

If not for the explosion of the tablet market, there probably wouldn't have been such a rush to introduce the new OS.