Microsoft: Windows 8 pre-release to arrive in the "coming months"

It has been rumored that Microsoft would be releasing a beta of Windows 8 in the fall. Specifically, it is rumored that a beta release will happen at this year’s BUILD event that will take place in September. While there has been previous talk that a pre-release of Windows 8 arriving in the fall, this new information helps to confirm that Microsoft is still on track for a fall release.

In a post to kick off a new blog, Steven Sinofsky, said that there will be a beta of Windows 8 in the “coming months”. The blog post talks about what to expect from Microsoft over the next few weeks as they prepare for BUILD and post BUILD blog posts.

The post also responded to criticism about how quiet they have been so far with features for Windows 8. In a nut shell, Sinofsky said that they have learned from past mistakes about unveiling features too early and not delivering. He states:

We’ve heard people express frustration over how little we’ve communicated so far about Windows 8. We’ve certainly learned lessons over the years about the perils of talking about features before we have a solid understanding of our ability to execute.

With BUILD rapidly approaching, Microsoft is about to become much more vocal about Windows 8 and what all it will bring to the table. Until Microsoft officially announces the feature set, everything is a rumor at this point.

Microsoft expects Windows 8 to be a major release and they have previously shown off their tablet interface which shows a lot of potential. But, what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the desktop experience, remains to be seen.

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and they have previously shown off their tablet interface which shows a lot of potential. But, what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the desktop experience, remains to be seen.

Ok, did you truly miss where Microsoft repeated and repeated that the new UI changes are ALSO for desktop users? Think touch desktops, pen, remote control, kinect, keyboard, an yes even using a mouse to navigate the new tile UI.

I'm not sure if people just hear and see what they want, or intentionally mislead people or are ripping off content from others that also have no clue.

I expect to fully migrate from XP if they address the problems in W7 and Vista they chose to ignore and refuse to acknowledge.

xpclient said,
I expect to fully migrate from XP if they address the problems in W7 and Vista they chose to ignore and refuse to acknowledge.

What problems in 7 are you referring to?

xpclient said,
I expect to fully migrate from XP if they address the problems in W7 and Vista they chose to ignore and refuse to acknowledge.

Wow, problems, really? If I was a computer scientist I would probably comment on the lack of understanding here. Wait, I am a comptuer scientist.

Whatever you think are 'unaddressed' problems are either imaginary or a lack of understanding of how and why Vista and Win7 are designed to be different from XP with regard to the memory priority flags, scheduling, GPU pre-emptive threading, new network stack, new audio stack, etc.

There are things that Win7 does that NO OTHER OS can, or even get close to achieving.

thenetavenger said,

Wow, problems, really? If I was a computer scientist I would probably comment on the lack of understanding here. Wait, I am a comptuer scientist.

Whatever you think are 'unaddressed' problems are either imaginary or a lack of understanding of how and why Vista and Win7 are designed to be different from XP with regard to the memory priority flags, scheduling, GPU pre-emptive threading, new network stack, new audio stack, etc.

There are things that Win7 does that NO OTHER OS can, or even get close to achieving.

Problems with mostly the shell and some others with the audio stack, how patching works. Are you of the opinion that Windows 7 is absolutely perfect and that no improvements can be made any more? Then there's no point arguing with you.

I love their new attitiude of not letting the public know too much about features and not being able to deliver. Better that way in a way, keep us excited and in a leash

rxsoob said,
Regardless of Beta, RC1 etc.. I have my MSI Winpad 110W ready and waiting..

and I have my 4 year old laptop waiting as well!!

"...they have previously shown off their tablet interface..." Its not tablet interface! It will be also used on desktops and notebooks.

Critical Error said,
"...they have previously shown off their tablet interface..." Its not tablet interface! It will be also used on desktops and notebooks.

That was indeed a Critical Error.

GP007 said,
Neowin should start a BUILD countdown timer and stick it on the main page. kthx.

Before Winrumors does it.

While we are nitpicking...

The word "quite" in the statement "The post also responded to criticism about how quite they have been... " is supposed to be "quiet".

i'm always excited about the next version of Windows, but what's new in 8 besides the tablet interface? i really havent seen or read that much yet... anyone know?

Jdawg683 said,
i'm always excited about the next version of Windows, but what's new in 8 besides the tablet interface? i really havent seen or read that much yet... anyone know?

It will be able to wash your dishes and clothes for you, probably cut your grass too, but that is just a rumor.

Jdawg683 said,
i'm always excited about the next version of Windows, but what's new in 8 besides the tablet interface? i really havent seen or read that much yet... anyone know?

Most of it will be under the bonnet changes. But there are lots of small changes.

Jdawg683 said,
i'm always excited about the next version of Windows, but what's new in 8 besides the tablet interface? i really havent seen or read that much yet... anyone know?

Another biggie is ARM support. That'd be a first for Windows.

Jdawg683 said,
i'm always excited about the next version of Windows, but what's new in 8 besides the tablet interface? i really havent seen or read that much yet... anyone know?

They havent even release the milestone, so of course we dont know very much about it. I hope it will blow our minds

Jdawg683 said,
i'm always excited about the next version of Windows, but what's new in 8 besides the tablet interface? i really havent seen or read that much yet... anyone know?

It isn't just a "tablet interface" as the Microsoft developers have pointed out many times. It's a whole new Windows interface designed for all types of devices. You ask what else is new; this whole interface brings many new abilities and features with it for desktops, laptops, and tablets. Microsoft haven't even informed us about most of the features, but please do remember that whatever they tell us at BUILD is for desktops and laptops, not just tablets.

Jdawg683 said,
i'm always excited about the next version of Windows, but what's new in 8 besides the tablet interface? i really havent seen or read that much yet... anyone know?

Well their is another achievement they made with Windows 8, that can be seen in leaked builds, and that is MinWin. It is that they have achieved a really small kernel. For Vista, it was 4GB, for Windows 7 they reduced it to 25Mb! But this time it is believed to be even much more smaller. This will help in massive performance boost, "lightness" of the OS, and the rewriting for ARM. It is quite an achievement. MS talked about putting it in Vista, 5 years ago. They couldn't do it, their wasn't enough time. Same case again with Win7. Now it is believed to be finally accomplishedwith Winows8, and it is just in time for slates. Because it also gives a wonderful battery life, and will change people's perception about Windows on a slate forever.

FMH said,

Well their is another achievement they made with Windows 8, that can be seen in leaked builds, and that is MinWin. It is that they have achieved a really small kernel. For Vista, it was 4GB, for Windows 7 they reduced it to 25Mb! But this time it is believed to be even much more smaller. This will help in massive performance boost, "lightness" of the OS, and the rewriting for ARM. It is quite an achievement. MS talked about putting it in Vista, 5 years ago. They couldn't do it, their wasn't enough time. Same case again with Win7. Now it is believed to be finally accomplishedwith Winows8, and it is just in time for slates. Because it also gives a wonderful battery life, and will change people's perception about Windows on a slate forever.

What? The Vista kernel (nt6.0\sp1-6.01) was not 4GB, the basic foot of the OS as whole was 4GB though, please don't confuse the two.

knighthawktfc said,

What? The Vista kernel (nt6.0\sp1-6.01) was not 4GB, the basic foot of the OS as whole was 4GB though, please don't confuse the two.

Now, this is an internal only - you won't see us productizing this - but you could imagine this being used as the basis for products in the future. This is the Windows 7 source code base, and it's about 25 megs on disk. Compare that to the four gigs on disk that the full Windows Vista takes up.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott...ly-can-run-on-a-tablet/3422

You are right. I should have used the word, disk-space.

knighthawktfc said,

What? The Vista kernel (nt6.0\sp1-6.01) was not 4GB, the basic foot of the OS as whole was 4GB though, please don't confuse the two.

Even out of the techy people on this forum, I bet 90% of them don't really know what the kernel is; they use the term because it sounds cool. At least that has been my impression from reading people's posts.

Bogdan Calapod said,

Another biggie is ARM support. That'd be a first for Windows.

Um, not so much.. ARM specifically, sort of...

Windows NT was designed and written on RISC, specifically the i860 (and emulator), and that is kind of where the NT comes from, as the i860 RX was called N-Ten as a codename.

Windows NT is far more 'portable' to other architecture than people realize, far more capable than traditional portable OSes and kernels, as it uses the HAL as a 'code to' architecture, and the HAL then provides the interface to the actual CPU/Architecture. This only requires the coding of the HAL specifics, and the actual code of Windows NT doesn't have to change for the architecture.

So, ya, not a big thing, just nice to see them going back to where NT should have been, as NT 4.0 was, running on multiple architectures.

The 'interesting' part about ARM is that instead of having to abandon x86 compiled applications, it will handle the translation for them as well. (Microsoft always has had good translation technologies - the HAL in NT does this today even.)

It appears they are planning on putting this portion of functionality on a dedicated chip, so that the ARM or other architectures isn't having to translate the x86 code, which means there won't be a performance hit or stress on the ARM to be able to run x86 code.

FMH said,

Well their is another achievement they made with Windows 8, that can be seen in leaked builds, and that is MinWin. It is that they have achieved a really small kernel. For Vista, it was 4GB, for Windows 7 they reduced it to 25Mb! But this time it is believed to be even much more smaller. This will help in massive performance boost, "lightness" of the OS, and the rewriting for ARM. It is quite an achievement. MS talked about putting it in Vista, 5 years ago. They couldn't do it, their wasn't enough time. Same case again with Win7. Now it is believed to be finally accomplishedwith Winows8, and it is just in time for slates. Because it also gives a wonderful battery life, and will change people's perception about Windows on a slate forever.

Really? Several years later and people still DO NOT GET that MinWIn was just an internal project to remove interdependencies between layers that got a bit mixed during Win2k/XP development.

MinWin was to address this and put things back into the proper layers, as NT was designed.

It has NOTHING to do with SIZE. NT has ALWAYS been small. The entire HAL and kernel of NT is incredibly small. The HAL itself is 256KB and the NT kernel is just a few MB in size.

Even the freaking Wiki article has MinWIn fairly accurate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MinWin

And if you want exacts, go to channel9 on msdn and listen to any of the interviews with Mark Russovich as he is more of a layman terminology person for very complex kernel related topics.

Vista's NT kernel was not much bigger than XP's, and Win7's kernel is 'technically' larger than Vista's. The problem with RAM use of Vista had NOTHING to do with the kernel, it was how the new memory priority flags were used, the background services that were left on all the time (which was stupid, because on an OS like Linux this is necessary, on NT it is not.)

Windows 7 is 'bigger' and has more features than Vista, since you are referencing 'disk space'.

Vista left more non used install data on the computer is why the install footprint is 'larger' than Win7.

I am sure you mean well, but you are contributing nothing but misinformation to this discussion, and if you are truly interested in NT or Windows in general, I recommend starting with Inside NT (first edition) and following up with one of Mark Russovich's books from the last couple of years.

sphbecker said,

Even out of the techy people on this forum, I bet 90% of them don't really know what the kernel is; they use the term because it sounds cool. At least that has been my impression from reading people's posts.

+1

I would bet good money that even the best technically minded editor/writer at Neowin couldn't properly explain what a kernel is, specifically in reference to NT.

(This is kind of a trick, as Computer Scientists like myself have had to redefine kernel terminology for NT a couple of times, as we originally just called it a modified microkernel, which left people thinking it was a microkernel, and then moved to variations like a client/server kernel, and even the 'hybrid kernel' term that is used today is a bit misleading, as Apple's OS X is a hybrid kernel, yet nothing like NT, and people try to lump them together now too.)

Rather than generating traffic or building excitement, this blog is here to provide a two-way dialog about the complexities and tradeoffs of product development. - Sinosfky's blog

way to go!!!

Fair enough, although its nit picking , he also didnt say pre-releases (plural) which may indicate only one release before public consumption.

Tom W said,
He doesn't say "beta" actually. He says "pre-release".

A beta is a pre-release too. I do agree that the opposite does not apply though.

ffMathy said,

A beta is a pre-release too. I do agree that the opposite does not apply though.

Yep, from the first build to the last one before release is technically pre-release.

bugsbungee said,

Yep, from the first build to the last one before release is technically pre-release.

I suppose the thing here is that at BUILD we could get a "CTP" instead of a Beta 1 release. I think they had a early CTP for Windows 7 as well? Either way we'll get something to mess with in September.

they have previously shown off their tablet interface which shows a lot of potential. But, what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the desktop experience, remains to be seen.

Actually this part is incorrect, as Microsoft has shown off the interface to replace the start menu, called the start screen, which is default for both tablet and desktop. Both are the same.