The fact that Windows 8 is planned for launch sometime within three years of the launch of Windows 7 doesn’t necessarily represent something new for the public.
After all, even with Windows Vista’s release, Microsoft top executives, including Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer made it clear that a 5 to 6 years gap between major Windows releases would never be repeated.
Following Vista, the software giant started aiming to offer new major iterations of Windows roughly three years apart.
With Steven Sinofsky, President, Windows and Windows Live Division at the helm of the Windows project, the company certainly managed to do so as far as Windows 7 is concerned, and it appears to be right on track to beat the three years estimate with the general availability of Windows 8.
On stage at the recent D9 conference the past week, Sinofsky confirmed that Windows 8 should be offered sometime before the end of October 2012, which would be less than three years after Windows 7 hit store shelves on October 22, 2009.
Sinofsky wasn’t talking specifically about Windows 8, as he was referring to new Windows releases in general, but of course Windows 7’s successor is included. “Every two to three years is a good release,” he said at D9.
This means that Windows 8 will most likely be released to manufacturing ahead of the end of July 2012 in order to hit GA within three years after Windows 7’s launch.
But I for one find it very strange that Sinofsky gave Microsoft a full year of “elbow room” for the release of Windows 8. Otherwise, how would you interpret a launch milestone set within two to three years after Windows 7’s GA?
I take this to mean that the Windows team is actually working to get Windows 8 out the door a tad sooner than October 2012. How much sooner? There is speculation that puts Windows 8 GA as early as the summer of the coming year.
Another take would be related to additional rumors about a next generation Tablet PCs and a special flavor of Windows 8 for tablets which could be launched around the start of 2012.
No deadlines belonging the either the Windows 8 development process or its release milestones have been confirmed by Microsoft. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that Sinofsky is underpromising and overachieving yet again, especially after the recent Windows 8 demos.