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Windows 8 Won't Be Late?

Mary Jo Foley is perhaps the number one Microsoft watcher. I should know. I competed against her as a Microsoft reporter a couple decades ago. Foley has been breaking Microsoft news ever since, and Redmond magazine is lucky enough to have her as our back-page columnist.

Now Foley is hearing that Windows 8 could come out next summer. She guesses that the Professional Developers Conference, held in the fall, will see a community technology preview (a fancy name for an alpha or early beta version).

All this comes from one slide presumably leaked by someone at Microsoft (or a close associate) that lays out the internal coding schedule.

Adding meat to the rumor is the fact that Microsoft generally has a three-year OS release cycle, and that alone places Windows 8 sometime next year.

While Microsoft declined comment on the rumors, one thing it is open about is the code name: Windows Next. Of course this shouldn't be the real name because once it ships, it is already here, so it can't be next. Perhaps they'll call it Windows Most Recent!

We also know that Windows 8, er Windows Next, will be embedded as a system-on-a-chip on ARM processors, though there is no guarantee that port will ship with the native Intel version. In fact, I'd bet all the change in my pocket it won't.

Other details about Windows 8 are sketchy at best, and include a 3D user interface and facial recognition camera (perhaps for security -- just don't pull a Joan Rivers. It'll never recognize you!).

Posted by Doug Barney on 02/25/2011 at 1:18 PM


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