It looks like Windows 8 is coming in the next two years. In a post celebrating the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 known as the fastest selling OS in history, Microsoft’s Dutch Web site briefly mentioned the construction and release of its successor. The blog post used quotation marks when it referred to Windows 8, so there is no certainty that this will be the final name, but if the time frame is correct, then we know that Microsoft should be within three to six months of a milestone M1 release that is provided to the company’s closest partners.
“Microsoft is on course for the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years before ‘Windows 8′ on the market.” Winrumors.com grabbed and translated the post, and CNET took a screenshot of the text, which unsurprisingly disappeared shortly after the news stole headlines. Now Microsoft is back to being tight-lipped about Windows 8 and its expected release.
The offending paragraph has since been removed, CNET reports. In its place is a new sentence which says that the first Service Pack for Windows 7 is in testing and will be released in the first half of 2011. A 2012 release would put the gap between Windows 7 and 8 at about three years. The gap between Vista and 7 was about three years, and the gap between Windows XP and Vista was five years. The company has said that it doesn’t plan to ever wait five years between major releases again.
Windows 8 was built on the foundation of Windows Vista and, conceivably, indicates that 2012 will be the right time for Microsoft to release a major new operating system, as Microsoft typically releases significant new operating systems every 5 to 6 years. Windows 8 would follow the general line and release scheduling of Windows 95, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Several years ago, Microsoft revealed that it may soon be necessary to rewrite the entire Windows code or write it entirely from scratch to make the software more secure and respond to progress in computer hardware. At that time, the company announced the Singularity project, which provided a research operating system that includes many new ideas of Microsoft’s researchers and engineers.
In February, a MS employee posted about the next version of Windows: “the next version will be something completly [sic] different from what folks usually expect of Windows,” said the employee in a blog. “I am simply impressed with the process that Steven has setup to listen to our customers needs and wants and get a team together than can make it happen. To actually bring together dozens and dozens of teams across Microsoft to come up with a vision for Windows.next is a process that is surreal! The themes that have been floated truly reflect what people have been looking for years and it will change the way people think about PCs and the way they use them. It is the future of PCs…”
The company has not said much about Windows 8, but if it is indeed two years out, that would make three years between releases. Ballmer did say this week at a Gartner symposium that the next version of Windows represents the company’s “riskiest bet.”
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has now changed the Dutch site, removing all reference to Windows 8 and instead talking about the first service pack to Windows 7 as well as the recently released Windows Live Essentials update.