Microsoft will start building the last pre-Beta development milestone of Windows 8, the successor of Windows 7, by the end of February 2011.
The information comes from a leaked roadmap that details the major development focus areas of the Milestone 2 phase.
It appears that the software giant will start coding Windows 8 Milestone 3 on February 28, 2011. The company has not provided official confirmation of the Win8 M3 Coding Start date, nor is it likely to do so now or in the future.
As a general rule, Microsoft is not to be expected to make any Windows 8 details public until the operating system is in the proximity of the Beta stage.
However, a source close to the company leaked the M2 roadmap, and Mary-Jo Foley
The snapshot reveals that the Windows team will start the coding work on Windows 8 M3 just ahead of March 2011.
The snapshot is extremely interesting because it also offers information on the evolution of M2. Coding for Windows 8 M2
began on September 27th 2010 and ended on November 5th. This phase was followed by Integration, between November 8th, 2010 and December 3rd, by the Bug Fixing stage, from December 6th, 2010 until January 28, 2011 and by Lockdown January 31st, 2011 to February 18.
All in all, it took Microsoft a total of five months to complete Windows 8 M2, from Coding start to Lockdown.
Provided that the same development steps and pace are also kept for Windows 8 M3, Milestone 3 should be wrapped up no later than July 2011.
M3 will also be the last Milestone release of Windows 8, after which the Redmond company will start work on the first Beta development milestone.
Sources familiar with the Windows vNext development process claim that Windows 8 Beta will be available to the general public sometime by the end of this year, most probably around the Professional Developers Conference 2011 (PDC 2011).