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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 senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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