Rumor: Windows 8 RTM in April 2012

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.

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The whole notion of Windows 8 is a little puzzling to me; Win7 is just that good. Yes, I understand that Microsoft needs to refresh Windows periodically, but unless Microsoft is willing to engage in some serious structural improvements I can't imagine this as much more than a cosmetic upgrade.

April 2012 makes perfect sense. Windows 7 RTM'd 2 years and 8 1/2 months after Vista. 2 years and 8 1/2 months later is April 2012.

M1 was built in September 2010, 19 months before April 2012. Windows 7 M1 was built 19 months before RTM.

Cripes really? I felt Windows 7 was a great release - really wish they'd sit on it for a while and mature it some more before rushing this out the door!

Just makes it a complete pain in the backside for large companies / enterprise trying to keep up getting all applications tested, updating training material & documentation, etc!

Chicane-UK said,
Cripes really? I felt Windows 7 was a great release - really wish they'd sit on it for a while and mature it some more before rushing this out the door!

Just makes it a complete pain in the backside for large companies / enterprise trying to keep up getting all applications tested, updating training material & documentation, etc!

why so seriouS?

Chicane-UK said,
Cripes really? I felt Windows 7 was a great release - really wish they'd sit on it for a while and mature it some more before rushing this out the door!

Just makes it a complete pain in the backside for large companies / enterprise trying to keep up getting all applications tested, updating training material & documentation, etc!

Most large companies skipped Vista. They can skip 8 if they want to, too.

Can't see it. I can see the release going gold and getting the masters printed at that time. RTM would be May/June.
If they can meet this agressive schedule then they will surely capitalize on the back to school crowd.

dotf said,
Can't see it. I can see the release going gold and getting the masters printed at that time. RTM would be May/June.
If they can meet this agressive schedule then they will surely capitalize on the back to school crowd.

How the hell are they going to print the masters unless they haven't released to manufacturing (yes, that's what RTM means) first? Windows 7 RTM was in late July, while the general availability was October 22.

This may be true. Vista RTMed in November 2006 and Windows 7 RTMed in July 2009 (3-4 months) before the "launch". The launch coincided with 3 years after Vista RTM meaning it may be the launch of Windows 8 that may be in July or August 2012 with RTM actually in April 2012.

Finally they get it. Before the christmas holiday is nice but DEFINITELY before "back to school" time is the killer time.

OMG, I'll have to wait another year to get a decent tablet PC with my desktop's capabilities! =/ I was considering to buy the ASUS Eee Slate, it seems fast and I think it's easily upgradeable to Windows 8

I'm interested in getting into the promised unified API that MS promised back with Longhorn and is apparently coming with W8. With the changes in C++11, it should be nice having all the Windows APIs available to my code.

It's hard to believe, as I doubt they'd scrap betas. If they release beta 1 at BUILD. They would not release the RC till January at least. I would think they'd release 2 betas for an OS like this.

As it'll have 3 versions (Server/Tablet/PC).

TechDudeGeorge said,
It's hard to believe, as I doubt they'd scrap betas. If they release beta 1 at BUILD. They would not release the RC till January at least. I would think they'd release 2 betas for an OS like this.

As it'll have 3 versions (Server/Tablet/PC).

I don't remember but didn't Win7 just have 1 beta? Also in the end it's still just 2 versions, tablet and PC are going to be exactly the same in the end.

GP007 said,

I don't remember but didn't Win7 just have 1 beta? Also in the end it's still just 2 versions, tablet and PC are going to be exactly the same in the end.


Yeah, there was one beta

GP007 said,

I don't remember but didn't Win7 just have 1 beta? Also in the end it's still just 2 versions, tablet and PC are going to be exactly the same in the end.

Who says they will stick to 1 beta? Vista had 2 betas.

Well..the previous rumor that the RTM would be in October of 2012 did seem a little far away considering by the time October 2012 did roll around..it would be time for another service pack for Windows 7.

i am writing this here.. i will be getting a WIN8 TABLET... as soon as the good ones hit the market!!! im gona start saving for one now!

Zain Adeel said,
i am writing this here.. i will be getting a WIN8 TABLET... as soon as the good ones hit the market!!! im gona start saving for one now!

I'm with you on this, i'm holding out till a good Win8 tablet and then I'll handoff my Win7 netbook to a family member etc.

Zain Adeel said,
i am writing this here.. i will be getting a WIN8 TABLET... as soon as the good ones hit the market!!! im gona start saving for one now!

Don't you dislike the Metro interface used in Windows Phone? If you dislike that, don't you also dislike the one used for the Windows 8 Start screen?

Zain Adeel said,
i am writing this here.. i will be getting a WIN8 TABLET... as soon as the good ones hit the market!!! im gona start saving for one now!
I don't think there was need to tell that, Zain. Your avatar told as much.

Zain Adeel said,
i am writing this here.. i will be getting a WIN8 TABLET... as soon as the good ones hit the market!!! im gona start saving for one now!

A good one for me must have: A USB 3.0 port; 1080p video out capable on HDMI.. for the rest I hope fore an huge touch improvement.

Calum said,

Don't you dislike the Metro interface used in Windows Phone? If you dislike that, don't you also dislike the one used for the Windows 8 Start screen?

when did i ever say that?? i love it!!! i just dont want win8 to just be tiles. The biggest reason ill be gettin win8 tablet will be the normal system underneath the tile UI.

Billy Gun said,

A good one for me must have: A USB 3.0 port; 1080p video out capable on HDMI.. for the rest I hope fore an huge touch improvement.

Exactly .... my base specs which ill look for. a full HD wide Screen.. I know we wont get retina display high res but full HD will suffice. It should have atleast 2gb ram. a dual core processor.. USB 3 not a big deal as i dont have anything that needs it. but i do want usb 2.0 slots. atleast 2 or more. like 4 hidden by a clip or something.. and even more important will be the design. I dont want a flashy Pad. I need something smooth and simple!.. wooooooooooo cant wait for a leaked build!!>. needz tza try the UI!

This seems to be a updated/modifide rumor from the one we got a few months back that said MS will RTM the ARM version first in April and then the x86 desktop version later in the year.

Either way I expect a beta at BUILD in Sept.

Billy Gun said,
I just hope there will be a public beta. I'm not sure how the "preview" works.

I expect a beta like what we had with Win7 actually.

Billy Gun said,
I just hope there will be a public beta. I'm not sure how the "preview" works.
Of course there will be public beta. Just wait for 13th September

Might be a little soon too ask, but next year I'm going to study 3D modelling and will mostly be working with programs like 3DSMax, Maya and Photoshop. I'd love to buy a Windows 8 powerhouse by then, but I'd also like to make full use of my OS (e.g: using touch). Would it be okay to buy a Win8 tablet with touchscreen then, or should I just stay with the classic notebook?

Way too early..but also a 32bit version is just not needed, if people want to stay on 32bit they can go with Win7.

ir0nw0lf said,
So much for the death of 32-bit (Windows that is). Put a bullet it in already Microsoft!

They did on the server side, I think Win8 could very well be the final 32bit version for the client. Even then I think more and more (if not all) of the OEM built PCs will ship with 64bit in the end. Lower end tablets etc though, that only come with 1-2GB of RAM, don't need 64bit tbh.

GP007 said,

Lower end tablets etc though, that only come with 1-2GB of RAM.

And all those netbooks with early Atom CPU's than run Windows 7 fine, Microsoft wouldn't dare cut out potential upgrade revenue.

Sadelwo said,
And all those netbooks with early Atom CPU's than run Windows 7 fine, Microsoft wouldn't dare cut out potential upgrade revenue.

I second that but mind you by the time Windows 8 is released 64bit netbooks would have been shipping for almost 3 years.

can't wait to go at the BUILD Windows conference!
I just hope it'll will be worth the 1600$ inscription fee

anyone else going there?

link8506 said,
can't wait to go at the BUILD Windows conference!
I just hope it'll will be worth the 1600$ inscription fee

anyone else going there?

$1600?!

link8506 said,
well, $1595 actually:
http://www.buildwindows.com/Register

big developers events (where new products are introduced) like the Microsoft PDC (which BUILD is replacing this year), google I/O, and Apple WWDC are always expensive!

Not surprising though - if you're a serious developer you can write it off against your tax so the real reason is to ensure that non-serious fanboys aren't taking up places that legitimate developers really need. I wonder though how long these conferences can last given the rise streaming media, video conferencing and so forth - is there really a future for big developer conferences or is there still a need for face to face contact?

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.

Thank god you made that clear. You saved me having to use a calculator to work it out myself

I'm going to get Windows 8 the day it comes out for my PC and will probably start saving up for a tablet version as of now.

Warboy said,
BREAKING NEWS
RC is before RTM according to a new news report

More at 11.

And when will beta be? Before, or after RTM?
I'm hearing it will be after SP1.

I guess I'll wait till 11, to get more info.

Neo003 said,
I still tink it's too early.

Windows has been rushed out too early since Vista IMO.

Looking forward to Windows 8, especially the UI updates, METRO is very nice on ZUNE for Windows and I'm hoping Windows 8 goes this route.

SPARTdAN said,

Windows has been rushed out too early since Vista IMO.

Looking forward to Windows 8, especially the UI updates, METRO is very nice on ZUNE for Windows and I'm hoping Windows 8 goes this route.

Do you feel that 7 was rushed?

SPARTdAN said,

Windows has been rushed out too early since Vista IMO.

Looking forward to Windows 8, especially the UI updates, METRO is very nice on ZUNE for Windows and I'm hoping Windows 8 goes this route.

It's not being rushed, since the XP and Vista delays people have forgoten that MS would release Windows on a 2 to 3 year cycle. This is just sticking to that, nothing new really. The only thing is if it'll RTM in April like this says or if it'll RTM a bit later like July and hit GA in Oct-Nov? Either way OEMs and hardware running Win8 will show up in 2012 regardless.

Sraf said,

Do you feel that 7 was rushed?

Yes.

GP007 said,

It's not being rushed, since the XP and Vista delays people have forgoten that MS would release Windows on a 2 to 3 year cycle. This is just sticking to that, nothing new really. The only thing is if it'll RTM in April like this says or if it'll RTM a bit later like July and hit GA in Oct-Nov? Either way OEMs and hardware running Win8 will show up in 2012 regardless.

I didn't mean the release cycle is rushed, I applaud that.

There are always annoyances in new Windows versions, I mostly only notice UI elements that don't appear finished, old Windows version elements that creep into view occasionally and feel drastically out of place.

Windows 7 is my favourite Windows, but it seems like they gave us a new taskbar but just kinda slapped it on, left the start menu useless minus the great search it now has and didn't really think about how to make it all more useful.

I'm hoping Windows 8 doesn't have new stuff just slapped on to look "cool" but actualy makes using/working on Windows easier and more joyfull and they re-think the design of Windows a bit more.

It's getting to the point that they're just cramming more and more into the UI that it's becoming tedious to use. I hope the Metro design language gives them a good re-think how to organise the design better. I'm not talking about this new desktop in Window 8, but the entire feel of Windows. Zune for PC is I think, great.

I made that a bit long winded!

Sraf said,

Do you feel that 7 was rushed?

Absolutely. It wouldn't have been released so quick if Vista was a raging success.

How long would it take to go from RTM to being available on MSDNAA? I graduate next summer, and would be nice to be able to get a copy of Windows 8 before I loose access to my universities MSDNAA site .

WelshBluebird said,
How long would it take to go from RTM to being available on MSDNAA? I graduate next summer, and would be nice to be able to get a copy of Windows 8 before I loose access to my universities MSDNAA site .

MSDN is usually within a month, not sure about MSDNAA...

Ambroos said,

MSDN is usually within a month, not sure about MSDNAA...


Most probably Windows 8 wont be released on MSDNAA as they had pulled Windows 7 from it due to lot of people taking advantage of that even if they weren't qualified.

nithinr6 said,

Most probably Windows 8 wont be released on MSDNAA as they had pulled Windows 7 from it due to lot of people taking advantage of that even if they weren't qualified.

Windows 7 is still available to me

nithinr6 said,

Most probably Windows 8 wont be released on MSDNAA as they had pulled Windows 7 from it due to lot of people taking advantage of that even if they weren't qualified.

Windows 7 is still available on MSDNAA for many people including me.

WelshBluebird said,
How long would it take to go from RTM to being available on MSDNAA? I graduate next summer, and would be nice to be able to get a copy of Windows 8 before I loose access to my universities MSDNAA site .

Is it ELMS or MSDNAA access? With ELMS, students had to wait until the admins copied it down from MSDNAA. But, if you have a direct log in to MSDNAA, it should be on MSDNAA's site at the same time as MSDN. Windows 7 was for our subscription at the school I taught at.

WelshBluebird said,

Windows 7 is still available to me

It is available to people who signed up before a certain date (which includes me). But for others it isn't.

Gibbyhome said,
I can't wait to get my hands on a beta and see how it will run on slower machines like netbooks

Probably better than Win7 if not the same.

Tony. said,
A April RTM would probably put Windows General Release before people go back to school/uni in September.

Which Microsoft should have done for their past operating systems. It would be a smart move if it goes through.

Tony. said,
A April RTM would probably put Windows General Release before people go back to school/uni in September.

Which Microsoft should have done for their past operating systems. It would be a smart move if it goes through.

Tony. said,
A April RTM would probably put Windows General Release before people go back to school/uni in September.

Just to put this into perspective, there hasn't been a summer release of Windows since Windows 98. Yep, that long ago.

Though I would rather they have a polished product than ship before it's ready, so I'll cut them some slack.