Rumor: Microsoft's Windows 8 Due in 2012

Dennis Faas's picture

Is Microsoft already looking beyond Windows 7 to Windows 8? Well, it can't hurt to be prepared. In a recent presentation at the Los Angeles Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky revealed two interesting slides that CNET News believes confirms the next major release from the Redmond-based firm is pegged for 2012.

There's great value for Microsoft in being up front with its home and business customers. For one, being prepared keeps stock value high. Second, it keeps consumer confidence at a peak, and although the initial knee-jerk reaction might be to wonder if news of another Microsoft operating system (OS) could hurt Windows 7 sales, in the end it serves to keep the Windows brand name popular both short- and long-term.

So, how do we know Windows 8 will be here in 2012?

Well, we certainly can't know for sure, but given Sinofsky's presentation, there's reason to believe Windows 8 will arrive in three years time. According to reports, Sinofsky's slides indicated that the next major release update for Windows Server is due that year, while one of the slides reportedly revealed the new OS' code name.

In an interview with Sinofsky last week, CNET News reporter Ina Fried received less than a warm response when asking about the rumored Windows 8 due date. Sitting "stone-faced", Sinofsky quipped, "I didn't say any of the words -- Windows 8 -- those were all your words." (Source:

In addition to the slides, Fried is also pointing to history in estimating Win 8's rough release date. "In recent years, Microsoft has tended to line up its desktop and server releases fairly closely, although in this case the desktop OS was probably a more significant release than its server counterpart," she wrote.

Microsoft Focused on Windows 7, for Now

While industry insiders like Fried are already snooping around for word of Microsoft's next major OS release, the company itself remains focused on blasting word of Windows 7's success from every Seattle rooftop. In a giddy interview last week, CEO Steve Ballmer proclaimed the system's sales "fantastic" and remarked that, since launch, "we've already sold twice as many units of Windows 7 than any other operating system we've ever launched in a comparable time." (Source:

Even PC maker Dell admitted that Windows 7 has prompted a surprising number of businesses to upgrade their systems.

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