Windows 8 Release Date Possibly Leaked

A former Microsoft employee apparently disclosed release-to-manufacturing (RTM) dates for future Microsoft products, including "Office 2012," "Windows Server 2012" and "Windows 8."

The dates are included in a chart that was drawn up by former Microsoft employee Chris Green, which can be accessed here (PDF, 900k). A link to Green's "roadmap draft" can be found on his MSDN blog from Dec. 2, 2009. The Microsoft Kitchen blog (unaffiliated with Microsoft) publicized the supposed leak, which may not be accurate.

The future product names in Green's chart are followed by question marks. Green's MSDN blog includes a statement that the opinions in the blog "are not intended to represent my employer's view." Green apparently was trying to provide a helpful overview of mainstream support and extended support time periods for existing Microsoft products, but the future product dates stayed in the chart.

If Green's chart is accurate, here are RTM dates for products that Microsoft has not yet announced:

  • "Windows 8" on July 1, 2011.
  • "Windows Server 2012" on July 2, 2012.
  • "Office 2012" on July 2, 2012.
  • "SQL Server 2011" on July 1, 2011.
  • "SharePoint Server 2013" on July 1, 2013.
  • "Exchange 2013" on July 1, 2013.
  • "OCS 2010" on Dec. 1, 2010.

Microsoft typically does not publicize the release dates and even the names of products still under wraps. The one confirmed product name is Windows 8 as Microsoft has put out job offerings using that term.

The Windows 8 RTM date appears to be a bit accelerated from Microsoft's typical three-year interval between new operating system releases. However, some RTM dates in the chart are accurate -- at least for existing Microsoft products. For instance, Windows 7 had its RTM on July 22, 2009, which is one day off from the date listed in Green's chart.

The RTM release date is the time when device manufacturers get the bits from Microsoft to start imaging the software for new products.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 Randy

Windows 8 won't be out until mid/late 2012.

Wed, Aug 24, 2011 Kevin

It is now august 2011. I have not even heard of a beta release yet. I guess this was a bunch of BS heh?

Thu, Apr 28, 2011 guest

The more versions of window release, the more $$$$ MS is going to rake in. Why not? Heck, just put on different makeups for the same codes and releasing two versions in one year. Who is going to stop it? Or releasing one feature at a time along the "new" version, milking the cow for all it worths. The fatter the bottom line, the better.

Sat, Aug 28, 2010 john

i never paid for windows licence... :)

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 Thomas Canada

Betas not out yet, so your RTM date, is almoxt a for the Beta

Sun, Jun 13, 2010

i bought windows 7 a few months ago, and when windows 8 comes out, i will be able to download it for free because of some code i have with my windows 7. So if you want windows 8, i'd but windows 7 now, and download 8 for free next year :)

Thu, May 13, 2010 Jayrad

Windows 8..? One year till then? I just bought windows ultimate...hope I get a discount =P They need to get rid of 2 annoyances in windows : winsxs...keep it to 3GB, my virus scanner cannot handle the size, ssd's cannot handle the size, and neither virtualization... the 'one option' for the start menu. revive the windows 98 start menu with original icons and everything? Makes alot of people happier...Maybe something like classic shell, but better =P Older 16Bit programs, and some older programs will not work...( also the ribbon design is not at all great...have an option for both the orginal view and ribbon?)

Tue, May 11, 2010

Jesus already?!? perphaps a "Praise God" is in order. Using the Lord's name only predicates your following remarks is idiotic, which they were. We didnt have any operating system in the 80's .. and OS's continue to obsolete their predecessor's at faster and faster rates, with RAM utilization, SSD optimization, etc..

Sat, Apr 24, 2010

Jesus, already? Windows XP was great for it's time and lasted for years, now we're getting a new OS every couple years. What is the rush?

Wed, Apr 14, 2010

I think 2012 is quite a reasonable date but I don't want it to look liike Windows Vista or Windows 7 and i want it to be more customisable and easier to use but I dont want another 'look-a-like' like 7 and Mac.

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 Josh

I believe it. We like newer, upgraded, faster, more stable, prettier, customizable. Every day we're shelling out more and more money to satisfy our need for fresh silicon. I like windows 7 but I'm already tired of the look. GIVE ME WINDOWS 8 I NEED IT!

Fri, Mar 19, 2010 dude

Microsoft will do anything to kill Windows XP. Vista was no XP killer. All it did was get more people to switch to a Mac.

Wed, Mar 10, 2010 eric Ghana

it was vista now win 7 and coming win 8 .do we need to write all this certifications .GOD help the world

Thu, Feb 18, 2010 CW

A lot of people seem confused about support lifecycles. Releasing another 6 versions of Windows makes no difference to how long Vista will be supported and does not force customers to upgrade. Mainstream support is 5 yrs, extended support is 5 yrs and then you are into custom support. This is public knowledge and published so customers can PLAN for it. There is no money making scheming in it.

Sun, Jan 31, 2010

True or not, I don't know, but I do know those dates are far enough out that I wouldn't be taking them to the bank. :-)

Sat, Jan 30, 2010

but from every thing i have heard from around 2005 till now. a live new O.S. in 2012. it will be bace on the xp kernal. yep sounds about rith, now a redressed up vista called windows 7. make 2 versions of the same O.S. then move on.

Fri, Jan 29, 2010 BG

It's interesting that non of the other dates in this spreadsheet match dates on the MS lifecycle website. Seems like bogus intel.

Fri, Jan 29, 2010

I would favor an "R2" type release for the desktop OS they way they have done servers. If not all you can do is "skip" an OS entirely. In a large organization it is too time consuming and expensive to upgrade everything on a 3 year lifecycle.

Thu, Jan 28, 2010 Adam Hamilton Edinburgh

MS have been keeping server and workstation editions in step and I would expect them to keep doing that. Windows 8 for 2012? Sounds more reasonable to me.

Thu, Jan 28, 2010 Rich. Lambert Delta, B.C.

With all the pent-up demand for an XP replacement spurring adoption of Win7, I don't think most clients will be ready to bump up to a Win8 by that time, unless something extremely provocative is included in the OS. (Complete desktop virtualization maybe???) Even so... IT budgets are already groaning and looking at Web 2.0/Web 3.0 alternatives from vendors like Google.

Thu, Jan 28, 2010 Landisnetusa Philadelphia, PA

I think that, like everyone else, Microsoft's revenues are suffering with our troubled economic times. The best way to increase revenues? Force your customers to upgrade and stop supporting XP & Vista. Dirty trick, but it's expected of Microsoft.

Thu, Jan 28, 2010

What happens in the year 2095? Is it going to be Windows 95 again?

Thu, Jan 28, 2010

So we are less than 1 1/2 years from RTM for Windows 8? That sounds very agressive.

Thu, Jan 28, 2010 SB

sounds like BS to me. Even if they have some internal dates it is not likley that they will keep them.

Thu, Jan 28, 2010 OS weary In a tizzy

Vista -> 7 and now 8 already? Microsoft is just doing this so they can stop support for Vista early. Vista(the Windows-ME of the new millenium)

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