It has been a while since we have received significant news about Windows 8. But now there have been reports that Microsoft's next PC operating system will enter its release to manufacturing (RTM) phase at around April next year. This particular rumor comes from Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet who claims that she received this particular information from a reliable tipster.
According to Foley, it is believed that Microsoft was to originally RTM its next Windows offering at around 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2012 and that is after releasing two betas plus previews. But now it seems that Microsoft will be adapting a new timetable for the release of Windows 8.
Last I heard, Microsoft's goal with Windows 8 was to release to manufacturing (RTM) its next Windows release around Q2/Q3 2012, after two beta releases, plus various preview/RC drops. I'd also heard that the plan was to RTM Windows 8 for x86, Windows 8 for ARM/SoC (system on a chip) and Windows 8 Server all at the same time.
I'm now hearing there's a different timetable for Windows 8. I've received new information from a trusted source that Microsoft is actually on track to release to manufacturing all Windows 8 versions by April 2012.
In addition to that, instead of releasing multiple betas and release candidates, Microsoft will instead release a beta build before its rumored RTM in April and that will be during the BUILD Conference this coming September. And at around January next year a final release candidate test build of Windows 8 will be made available.
I've also heard from my contact that Microsoft's game plan is to deliver a beta build– not a pre-beta or preview — of Windows 8 around the time of the Build conference in mid-September. This allegedly will be the one and only Windows 8 beta, my contact said. In January 2012 or thereabouts, Microsoft will deliver a final Release Candidate (RC) test build of Windows 8, my source said. (I'm now thinking that January release is the one that leaked a while back from Dell.) And the next and final milestone after RC will be RTM.
Windows 8 is probably Microsoft leakiest release of Windows yet. But despite many leaks of this particular build of Windows, not much is known with regards to the features and services that will make it to the final retail build. Perhaps Microsoft will shed more light into the official Windows 8 release date as the BUILD Conference that will take place in September approaches. Expect a full beta build as well this coming September.