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Next Win 8 Test Set for June

Wondering what to do this summer? Tired of fishing for stripers, writing the great American novel or spending time with the fam? Why not play with the release preview of Windows 8? What could be better than using your own time and expertise to help Microsoft debug this OS so it can make untold billions? And with the sorry state of laptop and tablet screens, you won't even have to worry about getting one of those pesky tans while doing Microsoft this favor.

Recently I complained about Microsoft willy-nilly attitude about changing product names. It isn't just products. This lunacy also extends to beta testing, which, as you know, is no longer as simple as just alpha and beta. In this case, Microsoft in June will deliver the release preview (which it used to call a release candidate).

Both terms, barely different, mean the same thing -- the features are essentially locked and will be fully loaded once all the bugs are fixed. In the case of Win 8 it should be late fall or thereabouts.

Meanwhile, to keep us all confused, Microsoft decided to formerly name Windows Server 8 Windows Server 2012. I'm starting to think it is  just messing with all of us!

Does Microsoft purposely make its product names hard to track so we have no time to even think of the competition? Send your best guesses to

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/27/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Sat, Apr 28, 2012 Dan Iowa

Windows Server 2008, Wnidows Server 2008 R2, and now Windows Server 2012. They pretty much said they would follow this pattern years ago. Windows 7 and now Windows 8. Where is the confusion? Perhaps you meant the confusion of System Center? By merging so many different products under the same umbrella, naming standards have to change for something, so no matter what they did you''d have something to complain about.

Sat, Apr 28, 2012 Derrek Michigan

So lets see.... Microsoft has had the following names for its server products. MS Windows Server 2003, MS Windows Server 2003 R2, MS Windows Server 2008, MS Windows Server 2008 R2. Are you seeing the pattern? Why are people surprised when the name has taken on a Windows Server 2012 designation? It is percisely in line with its product naming standards.

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