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Windows 8 Landing in October?

The question mark in the blog headline means that this news should be taken with a grain of salt. But, based on Microsoft's typical development cycle for a new OS, citing Bloomberg's mystery source on when we might see Windows 8 isn't that big of a gamble.

It's not even a gamble that we're jumping to the conclusion that Windows 8 will be out by Halloween based on the news from the shadowy figure that devices supporting the OS will be out by October.

That's because it all makes sense, and if Microsoft wants to make it in time for the kids to find wrapped copies of Windows 8 under the Christmas tree (worst present ever), it needs to have an October -- and at the latest, and early November -- launch window.

In fact, Gartner analyst Michel Gartenberg says that if Microsoft misses this window, then don't expect to see Windows 8 this year: "If they miss the September-October time frame, they're going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012," Gartenberg told Bloomberg. "The last thing Microsoft wants to have is a situation where there are no compelling Windows tablets at a time when the new iPad looks like it's going to be a good seller for the holidays."

And that head-to-head battle between Microsoft and Apple is the real goal of getting Windows 8 out this year. Unlike previous versions, the new OS's radically different interface will either sink or swim with consumers -- it's not going to be losing or gaining much ground in the enterprise, a market it has a stranglehold over (and if Vista couldn't sink its dominance, Windows 8 won't either).

An actual Microsoft tablet device that consumers want to use is the goal, and Microsoft can't concede another holiday season to Apple. So while the boxed version of the OS won't be high on many gift-giving list, expect devices sporting the new OS to be there. 
--By Chris Paoli

Posted by Chris Paoli on 03/21/2012 at 1:19 PM


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