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Windows 8 Release Dates Rumored, Start Button Dead

Specific Windows 8 release-cycle dates were reported today on a financial news Web site.

Dividend.com cited an unnamed financial analyst source at Nomura Securities for the dates. The analyst is quoted as saying that Microsoft plans to roll out the Windows 8 release candidate version by June. The release-to-manufacturing version will appear in late July or August. General availability of Windows 8 will be in September or October, according to the un-bylined news account.

Supposedly, the financial analyst had been told that information after having met with Tami Reller, chief financial officer and chief marketing officer of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live Division. However, since the analyst isn't named, it seems to be at the rumor stage.

Those dates correspond with an earlier rumor about Windows 8's production schedule, which hasn't been publicized by the company. Microsoft released the "consumer preview" beta of Windows 8 in late February.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had no comment on Windows 8's timing. The spokesperson said that Reller was at a Nomura event, "but the comments about timing were speculation by Nomura's analyst."

Reller purportedly told Nomura Securities analysts that Windows 8 won't have a start button. She is also alleged to have said that Microsoft will provide a tutorial to help users navigate Windows 8 using the traditional mouse and keyboard combination.

It's not surprising that the start button is missing from Windows 8 as Microsoft has previously explained that it found people weren't starting their apps from there. Instead, apps in Windows 8 are represented by tiles, which are all located on the start screen desktop. That design is supposed to optimize the operating system for touch-screens and allow quick user access to apps.

Microsoft's spokesperson confirmed the death of the start button in Windows 8.

"Like we said at Consumer Preview, the traditional start button has been replaced with a new Windows 8 Start Screen."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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