back to article Windows 8 possible July 2011 release?

An ex-Microsoft employee has let the cat out of the bag about when the software giant might release Windows 8. MSFTKitchen reports that in early December last year, Chris Green wrote a post on his MSDN blog, which appeared to reveal that Microsoft might-possibly-maybe release the next iteration of its operating system in July …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP users

    might as well wait for that then.

    1. KenBW2


      Come on, they've already waited 9 years...

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        9 years

        and I see no problem in waiting a few more.

        Actually, what with embedded DRM now apparently a permanant part of the Windows OS landscape, I see no reason to continue purchasing Windows at all.

        As long as my games work on my hardware, I'll use XP. It's plenty good for what I do.

        The day XP can no longer cope with the hardware, well I'll take a look at the landscape at that point.

        After all, I don't change my car every three years either. And yes, my previous car lasted 12 years in case you're wondering.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    So will Windows 8 actually be Windows v6.2 given that Windows 7 is actually Windows v6.1 or Will Windows 8 acually be Windows v7.0 or will Microsoft skip a version number and actually make Windows 8 WIndows v8.0?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      6.2 = 7.0

      The reason why Win7 reports its version as 6.2 is so applications don't mistake it for an incompatible version. Many applications check the main version number of Windows to determine compatibility.

      These applications need the number to be (let's say) greater than 4 but less than 7, or they'll assume you're running an incompatible version of Windows and refuse to install or run.

      Keeping the main number at 6 (like Vista) helps with installation and execution of some applications that are perfectly compatible with Windows 7... only they just don't know it.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        6.2 != 7.0

        The reason why Win7 reports its version as 6.2 is that Windows seven is a slightly revamped Vista, so why the heck would they change version numbers? The reason why they changed the name is that Vista was such an epic marketing failure that a related name would have scared customers off.

        The compatibility thing you mention, while technically true, is a _consequence_ of Windows7 being essentially Vista at heart.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Paris Hilton

          Awesome post

          Except that Vista is 6.0 and 7 is 6.1

          But your point is valid; Windows 2000 is Windows v5.0 and Windows XP is v5.1. Windows XP is to Windows 2000 what Windows 7 (v6.1) is to Vista.

          I do not buy for one second why Microsoft for the first time in their history and probably the first time in all software history would they name their software "7" when it is version 6.1.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            More than seven versions....

            The naming of Windoze 7 is pure marketing... there have been many more iterations than seven.

            Windows (horrible Versions 1 and 2)

            Windows 3.0

            Windows 3.1 (include the 'workgroups' version here)

            Windows 95

            Windows 98 (Include 98 SE here)

            Windows NT

            Windows Me

            Windows 2000

            Windows XP (Home. Pro, and Media Centre edition)

            Windows Vista (all incarnations... how many were there? Six?)

            Windows 7

            That's eleven different basic versions of the Redmond O/S then, not seven.

  3. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    I can't see MS doing this

    Do they really think that people would cough up for win 7 at vast expense (after currency conversion) and then a little over a year later do it again.

    Linux can get people to do it, because it's free. Apple can do it because they have a fanboi "we buy anything from jobs" group because it is usually wrapped in a pretty box. MS have neither.

    Are MS going to put Win8 out cheaply instead? Probably not. So hopefully it is wrong and we get at least 3 years before the next round of crappy adverts that say the old bits of linux and OSX are "my idea." and "new" (Well for windows they are)

    Or as I fear, they going to release Win8 on a subscription basis. Pay monthly or get nowt in your software. Xbox has been doing it for years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      M$ Make Sense?

      Well, if I had to cough up money for an OS, I'd rather pay for a media kit from Sun for Solaris/OpenSolaris ($30 US), CD's for a Linux Distro (depends on the distro), or OSX ($29 for single license or $59 for a 5 license). Any which way you cut it, is still cheaper than the cheapest Microsoft Upgrade.

      At least with the base OS of Solaris/Linux/OSX I can actually do something constructive, unlike the base OS with Windows... I'm sorry, playing Solitaire isn't constructive.

      But it wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft went the subscription route--in order to mask the real cost to the end user of their OS.

    2. Test Man

      Re: I can't see MS doing this

      Why not? This is the typical schedule for Windows releases. It's only the period between XP and Vista which was excessively long, and that was forced.

      No point in standing still, if they can continually improve Windows, then there's nothing wrong with that. No one is forced to upgrade and Vista and 7 will still be supported for years anyway.

    3. gerryg


      It's not that Linux "get's people to do it" it's that Linux both incrementally improves and doesn't cause you to have to throw out older versions in order to interoperate with newer versions. You're free to take them if you have need of the new features or you can stay with what you've got.

      True of the entire software stack, too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I'm not aware that MS force you to chuck out older versions of windows to interoperate, in fact it is one of Windows greatest strengths, there are many places still running large NT4 estates with no integration problems to their W2k8 servers.

        The problem that you do get is, and this is exactly the same with linux, that you can't get support beyond a certain version. You may say something along the lines of "you can fix your own code" with linux, but this doesn't really matter, the vast majority of companies can't. Generally companies don't have the expertise or the political will to accept a "we can probably fix it", management (rightly so in my opinion) like to have contracts for support.

    4. Gil Grissum

      No subscription for me

      If those MS clowns try to do either office or Windows as a subscription, I won't be using either. I'm already using Ubuntu on my laptop. To heck with Windows if they go the subscription route. Balmer must somehow have missed that we are in a recession. No one is going to fall for a stunt like that in this day and age.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    My company has just started thinking about finally migrating from Windows XP onto Windows 7.

    OK, this dodgy roadmap should be read as being complete bollocks, but if MS announce that Windows 8 is coming out next year, I can almost guarantee that'll mean we're spending another 2 years on XP.

    1. Test Man

      Re: Migration

      And why would your company wait, seeing as 2-3 years from Windows "8" will see Windows "9"? What did your company do when Windows releases were 2-3 years apart before XP? Did they stand still then? No they didn't, they sensibly upgraded to the latest OS at THEIR own schedule, which would've meant missing on one or two releases, of course.

      So lets not be silly.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Migration

        Actually we jumped from Windows NT 4 to Windows XP in 2003, so if we maintain our 7-year cycle, we're due for another upgrade this year!

        This is not a piddly basement operation, by the way. It's a FTSE 100-listed, multinational jobbie.

        1. Test Man
          Thumb Up

          Re: Migration

          Exactly my point. Your company isn't going to postpone a Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 update just because Windows 8/Server 2012 might be out in 2011. So I wouldn't worry about it. Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 will be fine for years up till 2-3 releases afterwards, when it'll look long in the tooth and your company will need to upgrade.

          No company needs to upgrade to the latest and greatest with every single release, they should stick to their own schedules and when the time comes up upgrade, they will upgrade to the latest THEN.

  5. jason 7
    Thumb Up


    Indeed, we used to get a MS OS nearly every 18-24 months.

    Not much of a gap between 95 to 98 then we got 98SE quickly then 2000 and ME then XP came not much long after (not to mention NT4 in there somewhere).

    So thats around 7 OS versions in nearly 6 years.

    MS has been slacking since XP basically.

    1. Test Man
      Thumb Up

      Re: @Testman

      Exactly. Everyone seems to have forgotton that 2-3 years between Windows releases is the NORM for Microsoft. The 6 years between XP and Vista was the EXCEPTION, something which they clearly don't want to repeat. With their long support schedules, no one really needs to keep on upgrading with each release straight away anyway. It's absolutely right to keep on releasing new versions of Windows at the usual 2-3 year rate, different people will be at different points in their own upgrading schedule so it's selfish to want to delay things just because YOU'RE not ready to upgrade.

      Methinks people panic too much when they hear of another version of Windows approaching soon after the new release.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But they made up for it

      with a whole load of variants, (home, pro, media, 64 bit etc)

  6. Tezfair
    Thumb Up

    waiting until 2012...

    No doubt they will come out with 128bit Windows somewhere in August 2012.

    Personally I think they need to slow down the amount of releases and concentrate on getting them right. They need to realise that people don't upgrade to every version that comes out. The differences are so marginal as to not worry about. All the versions do its lock down the OS because the side programs, eg, IE are weak.

    The reason XP did so well is that its joined the ease of Win98 with the robustness with NT / 2k.

    They will never be able to repeat that, so lets go for something different, for example roaming profiles that's stored on memory sticks / in the cloud so you have dumb terminals and you plug in and all your licensed apps are there. No need to keep installing different versions of everything as its all on the stick.

    1. Daniel Evans

      To the best of my knowledge

      128 bit isn't needed at all, seeing as 64 bit isn't just twice as large as 32 bit, it's ten billion times bigger. The main problem with 32 bit seems to have been the cap on memory at 4GB - 64 bit goes up to [quite a bloody lot] of memory, and I doubt you or I will need that much soon.

      1. peter 5 Silver badge

        @Daniel Evans

        One of the reasons for switching to 64-bit is that the x86 has twice as many registers available in 64-bit mode, and Windows passes a couple of arguments in register, so things run a good deal faster.

        Oh, and I remember finishing the upgrade from 16-bit to 32-bit and thinking "2Gig of addressable memory - we've never gonna exhaust that."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Paris Hilton

          Twice as many registers?!

          Holy cow one register is enough!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The reason XP did so well is that its joined the ease of Win98 with the robustness with NT / 2k.

      After several years of pain and a couple of service packs.

  7. Bilgepipe
    Gates Halo

    I'll stick with XP, thanks

    I wonder if Windows 8 will have a great new way to organise and view photos, like the last two versions did. It wouldn't be Windows if it didn't completely replace something from the previous version, and what successive versions providing very little of anything new that matters to users, a great new way to organise and view photos would fit the bill nicely.

  8. Eponymous Cowherd

    Why give away service packs?

    When you can get people to pay for them.....

  9. Dale 3

    Slow news day

    The source is an ex-employee, in an industry where roadmaps and timetables typically shift on a weekly basis, and presumably the company doesn't live-feed its plans to former employees.

    So this is an article about nothing, telling us nothing about an as-yet non-existant product, quoting a source who knows nothing.

    I want my time back.

  10. Terry H

    Microsoft's problem

    Their basic problem is that XP does everything needed by virtually every business that uses PCs. It also does everything needed by virtually every consumer.

    The average person wants a super fast web browser that will play/run any content anybody, anywhere puts on a web server. Unexpectedly, microsoft does not have a browser that satisfies this need. The average business's needs aren't even that robust.

    They really do have a very serious problem. So far they have not been hit too hard because of their lock in deals with PC manufacturers. But it wouldn't take much, action from the EC competition commission for example, to level that playing field very quickly.

    When I wanted to become a programmer, my father couldn't understand it. He said: "But once you write a program you're done. Why are they going to keep you around". Fortunately that has rarely been a problem for me. But microsoft really is a victim of their own success. They have nothing new to offer and most of the world had rather buy a 3D TV than a 6 GHz computer to run the latest microsoft attempt to clone the KDE desktop.

    1. ForthIsNotDead
      Thumb Up

      Spot on!

      Terry H: "Their basic problem is that XP does everything needed by virtually every business that uses PCs. It also does everything needed by virtually every consumer."

      Exactly right. For me, XP is perfect. It just works. It never crashes. I know where everything is. It is un-obtrusive. I never have to think about it. It's just great!

      That is their problem... They made it too good, that there is no really persuasive reason to upgrade. I'm not saying I would DOWNGRADE a new PC just to XP, certainly lot, in terms of upgrades, it's hard to persuade me, since XP does everything I need it to, just about perfectly.

      Sure, it has security problems, but I run AVG and I've never had a virus (that I know about ;-)

      And I find it rock solid, stability wise.

      Great OS.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Win 7 is so wonderful

    Why rush out Win 8 when Win 7 is so wonderful or NOT?


    windows 8 possible

    im sick to death of all thease constent os operating systems microsoft release far to many most people are on xp and wont change because the hardware isnt supported under a new os vista or 7 or even 8 because 3rd party companys who made the laptop dont make the drivers for a new os. you have to keep the os you have on your laptop or desktop my mother has a old laptop with xp home edition and i cant upgrade it to windows 7 because half of the hardware graphics card etc dont run well and it dont run all the eye candy in 7 or vista. one thing microsofts gonna have to do is leave windows 8 for the moment and concentrate on windows 7. office pcs etc will refuse to upgrade due to the exspense of it. microsoft you cant force people to change there os if they dont want to

  13. Tony Paulazzo

    Pointless point

    >iPadded cell<

    I laughed - out loud.

    About Windows 8, they should release it on the 31st December 2012, and call it Windows Final.

    1. Laie Techie

      Windows Final?

      > About Windows 8, they should release it on the 31st December 2012, and call it Windows Final.

      i thought the Mayan calendar ends on 21 December, not 31 December.

      1. revdjenk

        like any good calendar...

        ...the Mayan calendar starts over again...don't panic.

    2. Geoffrey W

      For ever and ever...

      Windows "Eternal" since we'll all be happy ever after in the afterlife. It comes with the new ethereal-net and everyone will be computing in the Cloud on virtual machines. They may as well fling wide them pearly bill Gates and open source it.

  14. Not Terry Wogan

    H2 2012 release for Windows 8

    ... I'd put money on it.

  15. Ron Christian

    xp -> 7

    I've brought up two Windows 7 machines recently, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I stuck with XP for the past 9 years because it was good enough. Vista was definitely not good enough. Windows 7 is good enough. I'm thinking 8 to 10 years on Windows 7 will be about right. So Windows 8? Nah. Only for the folks that absolutely must have the next shiny object.

  16. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Win 8?

    Okay, whatever.

    Just don't force .NET on us.

    Some of us like win32. I was very happy to see W7 still supporting this and in 64 bits too as I have to admit I was very afraid we'd all have to use .NET.

    I only do c, I have never done C++ and I do not EVER want to learn C#.

    Make sure you keep win32 or something similar.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Only do C?

      Want legacy support?

      You want to leave the Windows world, you do.

  17. Filippo

    128 bits and subscriptions

    Before 128 bit computers are needed, you'd have to have applications that want to use several EXABYTES of memory. I won't go and say that it's impossible, but it's not going to happen any time soon. I can't imagine a task that requires that much physical memory, not even going a good way into science fiction. There are data collections that large (not many), but there is no conceivable reason to load all of them in RAM at the same time.

    As for subscriptions, I'm a MSDN subscriber already. Couldn't care less. :-P

    1. The BigYin


      That'll be office 2014 then.

    2. Dale Richards

      Not just exabytes

      64-bit architectures allow for a byte-addressable memory space of just over 18 exabytes. Anyone predicting the rise of 128-bit computing by 2012 is out of their fucking mind.

      As an interesting aside, a 128-bit address space will give you 3.4 x 10^38 bytes of byte-addressable memory.

      There isn't a word for for how mind-bogglingly massive that is, but it's about 340 trillion yottabytes, with a yottabyte being a thousand zettabytes and a zettabyte being a thousand exabytes.

      It's a pretty safe bet that there isn't that much data on the entire planet.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        My porn collection is double that!!!!

  18. Herbert Meyer

    service pack == new version ?

    and bug == feature.

    MS software engineering standards ?

  19. Joe Burmeister

    Can you smell the penguin fear?

    Yet again Windows users can thank the fishy breath on Microsoft's neck. Not going to help them with getting ARM battery life netbooks though. Or their freedom.....or wallets.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The only ARM netbooks that I'm aware of at the moment are actually supplied with Windows... Now, if I didn't already have an AA1, I'd love an ARM netbook running linux or even better RISCOS, but don't doubt that Windows is a very portable OS and would appear at the launch or quickly after any ARM netbook with linux pre-installed.

      1. RichyS
        Gates Horns

        Err... Really?

        I think you're confusing Windows with Win CE. The x86 Windows kernel hasn't been portable onto other architectures since the early days of NT.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I thought I'd said Windows CE but clearly not, my mistake. I will point out though, that Windows is currently available in i386, x86/64 and Itanium. It is fully compatible with BIOS or EFI and has always been designed to be ported between differnet architectures. It would not take too long for MS to port it to a new, suddenly popular, architecture.

  20. Bill Cumming


    I'm not aware of any ARM based netbooks running a full blown "Windows OS" (Win mobile / WinCE are NOT full blown Windows OS IMO...)

    Most Linux Flavours have an ARM based version so there's nothing stopping you....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I thought I'd put Windows CE, but clearly not, my mistake.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Here's a good plan

    "Microsoft may be attempting to speed up the frequency of its OS updates."

    Yeah because the faster you rush it to market, the less bugs will be in it, right?

    It's not as if their software is bug free on release at the moment but this will just make things worse!

    (Reg, please can we have an icon for "FAIL of such proportions that people in other galaxies will be laughing")

  22. Rolanddd
    Thumb Down

    already wrong

    The 2010 RTM release date is already wrong. Don't hold your breath...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eh, Windows 3.x and 9x don't count

    Remember, Windows 3.x and Windows 95 don't really count, as they were pretty much eye candy running on top DOS. 98 was a major update, but still based on 95, and WinME shouldn't even be called a version, it was just a filler until XP came out.

    So you have

    WinNT 3.x

    WinNT 4.x

    WinNT 5.0 (2000)

    WinNT 5.1 (XP, Server 2003)

    WinNT 6.0 (Vista, Server 2008)

    WinNT 6.1 (Win7, Server 2008R2)

    1. Pirate Dave


      perhaps it is you who needs to remember that Windows wasn't originally an OS, it was a graphical window manager. And MS did a pretty good job at that. It wasn't until they tried adding a kernel and taking over the machine that things got ugly. Which just so happened to coincide with the explosion of the Internet into popular culture. A sad intersection of paths, if ever there was one...

    2. Test Man

      Re: Eh, Windows 3.x and 9x don't count

      Of course, this is complete rubbish so we can disregard "Anonymous Coward"'s comment. Obviously you can count Windows 95/98/Me, they are still OSes.

      Sometimes I wonder if people really think properly before they spout such nonsense.

      1. Chika

        Oh noes, not agayne!

        It seems that every time we have an item based on Windows releases, somebody somewhere feels the need to wheel out the "what version number" post (this was that version number, this was that version number, that can be discounted because it didn't do something or other).

        Move along, people. Nothing to see...

  24. Martin Nicholls

    Timing is key...

    "All of this could be interpreted as a company running scared of the competition"

    Or it could be interpreted as a company who has an OS spare given it just released one that shouldn't really have existed...

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