Microsoft has indicated that it will finish work on Windows 8 by the end of summer and will probably launch it in October.
According to Bloomberg deep throats, Microsoft will have both the x86 and the ARM versions ready at the same time. We reported at CeBIT that it would be ready by the end of July. The marketeers, no doubt, want their paws on it in the run up to the launch.
Apparently there will be only five ARM devices in the debut, compared with more than 40 Intel machines but given we were not expecting to see ARM hardware until much later, that is not that surprising.
What it means is that Microsoft aims to target Christmas shoppers with the new software, which works with touch-screen devices.
Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said that if Microsoft misses the September-October time frame, they're going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012. It needs a Windows tablet out there to compete with the new iPad.
The Vole is going to host an event for its industry partners in early April, which will spell out its release strategy for Windows 8, giving more details on timing and marketing.
Apparently Microsoft had less difficulty getting Windows 8 ready for x86, but it is harder to make it run on ARM.
Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows business, has said repeatedly that Microsoft plans to have both ARM and Intel- based systems available when Windows 8 is released.