Windows 8 is officially still in its pre-beta phase of development, with Microsoft only saying that the next version of its PC operating system will be released to the public in a beta form sometime in late February. A few days ago, the well known Windows 8 screenshot leak web site Winunleaked.tk claimed that the current version number for Windows 8 is up to 8176.
Now that same web site has claimed to have gotten a hold of Microsoft's current development road map for Windows 8. It claims that from now until January 23, Windows 8 will be considered to be in pre-beta form at Microsoft. On January 23, Windows 8 will go into what is known as Beta Escrow.
After that, the article claims that Microsoft testers will then vote on which of the Windows 8 builds will in fact be the final beta build with the decision being made on January 28. Finally, the article claims that the beta build will be shown at an internal Microsoft preview on January 30. The target build number for the final beta will be 8200.winmain_win8b1.
Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Microsoft itself, but if true, the timeline certainly tracks with what Microsoft has already said about the Windows 8 beta being released to the public in February. Again we are looking to Microsoft's CES 2012 keynote address, to be held later this week in Las Vegas, for more information on Windows 8 release plans.