Posted in: Desktop software, Rumors

Beta of Windows 8 a.k.a. Next could be ready by September, RTM in mid-2012?

What do you know, it turns out that Windows 8 may be surprisingly close – a leaked roadmap has led to speculation that Windows 8 (codenamed Windows Next) could turn up in beta form at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in September.

Which is just in time, if the rumors about the Dell Peju tablet coming out in Q1 2012 are right…

About 10 days ago, some leaked Dell roadmaps sparked our interest – they showed upcoming Android and Windows Phone 7 handsets and a few droid tablets. Tucked in at the bottom was “Peju”, a Windows 8 tablet, scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

Now, Microsoft aficionado Mary-Jo Foley is talking about a new roadmap for Windows 8, which shows that the second of three milestones for Windows 8 should be ready tomorrow.

Work on the third milestone starts next Monday and if it takes as long as the second one it should be ready by September (allowing for about a month of testing). That’s just on time for a beta version of Windows 8 to show up at the PDC, or at least a more details on the progress so far.

Of course, that would be followed by (at least) another beta and a release candidate, so the middle of 2012 is the rough target for when Windows 8/Next should be released to manufacturers.

As for the ARM port of Windows, Mary-Jo says it’s unlikely that it will be ready by January, so the Dell Peju may just be a developers’ platform. Anyway, if we don’t see it this September, CES 2012 is the next possible event for Windows 8 to officially break cover.

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