Windows 8 release date leak: RTM 2011, free beta download 2010?

An ex-Microsoft employee appears to have leaked the release date for Windows 8 -- as well as Windows Server 2012 and Office 15. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers shun the iPad hype and imagine the free beta download within a year.

By Richi Jennings. January 28, 2010.

(MSFT)

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention an Impressive backwards basketball shot...

    Jérôme 'Charon' Bosch écrit ceci:

Chris Green ... lisant ce papier j'ai découvert que Microsoft espère sortir Windows 8 le 1 juillet 2011. La version serveur W2K12 devrait sortir seulement un an plus tard le 2 juillet 2012. Enfin pour office 2012 il serait aussi prévu le 2 juillet 2012.

  Bien sûr ces dates sont à prendre avec des pincettes et ne sont pas officielles. Si Microsoft était amené à rencontrer des problèmes au cours du développement ces dates internes pourraient être modifiées.
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You don't do French? OK, Stephen Chapman translates:

Chris Green, a Microsoft employee [sic] ... posted a rather telling product support lifecycle update. ... In [which] he details not only the public information found on Microsoft’s product support lifecycle site, but he boldly goes where no one has gone before by mentioning not only Windows 8, but Windows Server “2012? (Windows 8 Server) and Office “2012? (Office 15)… with dates.

...

Windows 8: RTM: Friday, July 1, 2011 ... Windows Server 2012 (Windows 8 Server): RTM: Monday, July 2, 2012 ... Office 2012 (Office 15): RTM: Monday, July 2, 2012. ... He also lists dates for some additional products, such as Exchange 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, SQL Server 2011. ... Of course, the tell-all sign will be if the document and/or MSDN post are mysteriously removed or altered within the next few days or so. If that happens, there there may just be more to these dates than simply estimation after all!
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The anonymous Electronista gnomes add:

The posting would hint at Microsoft speeding up the development process for the next version of Windows. Although Windows 7 brought Microsoft back on track after Vista's delays and had it ship less than three years later, the company has rarely timed significant upgrades so closely. Windows ME was shipped two years after Windows 98 but has widely been seen as an emergency stopgap following delays in what would become Windows XP.

...

It hints at a less aggressive update than Windows 7 and also that the company is eager to close the gap with competitors like Apple, which in the interval between Vista and 7 released two significant Mac OS X updates.
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Ex-Microsoftie Chris 'automangle' Green is the horse's mouth:

Updated product lifecycle Gantt chart.

  I create this graphical view of the publicly available product support lifecycle information published at http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeselectindex. ... You can download the PDF ready for A3 printing here.
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Hang on. "Publicly available"? Nick Farrell explains that all is not as it seems:

Green [left] the useful information buried in something else. 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. However the future product dates, which no one knew stayed in the chart.
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But Marius Oiaga is a sober voice of reason:

Microsoft has yet to confirm or deny the legitimacy, or relevance of the dates included in this document. However, even without an official position from the Redmond company users should take the deadlines with a grain of salt.

...

Still, Microsoft is already hard at work planning Windows 8 and Windows 8 Server, and has been for quite a while. ... The software giant won’t say just how advanced is the Windows 8 development process.
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So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

 
 
And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itblogwatch@richij.com.

 
 
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