The Microsoft news and leaks have drastically slowed over the past month. Other than a leak of a newer build last week, there hasn't been much information regarding new features or even a possible release date. That is, until today.
Mary-Jo Foley, a very well trusted Microsoft journalist, has just received information about Microsoft's timeline for Windows 8. As we all know, no project is ever on time, and is always hit with delays and problematic bugs that take much longer to figure out than originally expected.
According to a source, via zdnet.com, Windows 8 RTM (Release to Manufacturer) is expected to occur in April 2012 - which is less than a year away now. Mary-Jo's insider also claims that Microsoft will release a beta (not a pre-beta or preview build) this September, at the the BUILD Conference 2011, which happens to take place between September 13-16. This is at the same conference that Internet Explorer 10 is expected to land.
The source also claims that Microsoft will deliver an RC (Release Candidate) build of Windows 8 shortly before the software giant pushes the RTM build of Windows 8. The article also notes that Microsoft will be pushing a 32-bit, 64-bit and an ARM/SoC (System on a Chip) version of Windows 8 all at the same time.
If Microsoft keeps to this schedule, Windows 8 should be available in time for the back-to-school crowd next year, and even be competitive in the slate PC/tablet market during the holiday 2012 season. Microsoft doesn't want to miss another holiday season like they did with Windows Vista.