Microsoft Windows 8 release date: 2012; demo next week

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By Richi Jennings. May 24, 2011.

The Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8 release date will be 2012, according to Steve Ballmer; he even used that actual name. And it's going to get its first official demo next week, we hear. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers analyze a surprisingly complex story.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: FreakyFonts: Inspired by C64, Amiga, and classic arcade games...

Mary Jo Foley parses and previews:

Microsoft execs have ... kept the specifics of the product as quiet as possible ... avoiding calling the next version of Windows “Windows 8? ... preferring instead to call it “Windows Next.” ... Parsing Ballmer’s words ... he called out Windows 8 slates and tablets as two separate form factors.


It’s also interesting that Ballmer did not say ... “the next generation of Windows systems” due out next year were Windows 8 systems. ... Microsoft might deliver ARM-based tablets separately from Windows 8 ... PCs.  

Nick Farrell is slightly sarcastic:

Shy and retiring ... Steve "there's a kind of hush" Ballmer has softly whispered ... that Windows 8 will be out in time for 2012. ... The first time that [Microsoft] has given a time frame for the operating system and ... that he has mentioned the OS by name.


Yep, in Steve speak there is a difference between slates and tablets ... part of an idea touted before that Microsoft slates will ... use Windows Embedded Compact ... rather than fully fledged tablets. ... Slates will be cheaper ... but have less functions.  

Matt Rosoff looks nearer-term:

Steven Sinofsky has just been confirmed to appear at the ... D:AllThingsDigital conference ... the smart odds are that he'll use the high-profile event to give the ... first view of Windows 8. ... The timing matches what a source told us earlier ... that Windows 8 would be shown to the public before the end of Microsoft's fiscal year on June 30.


Based on past Windows release cycles, the mainline version of Windows 8 probably won't ship until late 2012. ... But some reports ... have suggested that Microsoft [will] ship the tablet version earlier -- perhaps as soon as this year.  

And Todd Bishop moves diagonally: [You're fired -Ed.]

Microsoft isn’t saying anything ... but the last-minute addition suggests something interesting is up. ... Obvious questions [include] how the next version of Windows will help ... create credible rivals to the iPad, whether that’s on x86 or ARM architectures.  

But, "It's too soon," cries Renai LeMay:

No sooner has the company convinced [IT users] ... that it’s worth finally dumping Windows XP in favour of Windows 7, than [it] starts its sales pitch for the next version. ...  Bombastic Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer ... made it clear that Microsoft was already several months pregnant ... and had pre-booked in for the epidural.


There is only one problem with this glorious roadmap for the rollout of Windows 8: Nobody really wants it. ... Most will not yet have finished the gargantuan task of upgrading ... to Windows 7, and ... the prospect of building a new Standard Operating Environment for Windows 8 will seem ... [like] self-flagellation.  

And Finally...

FreakyFonts: Inspired by C64, Amiga, and classic arcade games 
[hat tip: Blake Patterson;
Richi's favorites: Alpha Flight, Arkanoid, Vector Battle]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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