Is Windows 8 Coming Soon?

IT Management

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As Microsoft continues to work on their upcoming Windows 8 builds, preparing the operating system for the touch generation, is it almost time for a beta version to show up? What about it being released to the manufacturer? Is that date sooner than you might expect? While there's no confirmed answer, there is a great deal of speculation concerning the release dates of Windows 8.

As indicated, the new OS is being designed with touch in mind, although, traditional methods of computer input will work, too. According to earlier reports, Windows 8 will be "app friendly," which demonstrates the changing landscape of computer terminology. Apparently, the phrase "computer program" is going the way of the dodo, as Microsoft looks for ways to identify with the younger generation, a group who identifies with the "apps" abbreviation more than they do the word "programs."

Yay, marketing.

Anyway, there are rumors out now about potential release dates for the new build, and it looks like September 2011 could be the date for the Windows 8 beta, with April 2012 being a potential time the operating system is released to manufacturers. ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley, their resident Microsoft guru, has more:

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.

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.

Foley goes on to say that Windows 8 will indeed be optimized for touch tablets -- do you wanna touch the Windows? -- although, one wonders if such optimization will have a negative impact on its usability for standard PC input methods.

For those of you following the operating system details, are you ready to move on from Windows 7, especially if that touch thing gets good reviews? Let us know what you think.