Windows 8 will arrive in 2012, according to a statement made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. But Microsoft could be trying to clamp down on that news.
Steve Ballmer apparently confirmed that Windows 8 will make its debut in 2012
and appear on a variety of systems, including tablets and PCs.
"As we look
forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next
year, there's a whole lot more coming," he told the audience at the Microsoft
Developer Forum in Tokyo, according to a transcript
published on Microsoft's Website. "As
we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows
8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors."
Barely had the
words left Ballmer's mouth before the blogosphere began parsing them. Did his
use of "tablets" and
two different form factors in the pipeline, or was he merely using both terms
to emphasize a singular touch-screen form factor? Will the next version of
Windows include a singular interface, or multiple versions for multiple devices?
Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live division, will appear at
the ninth D:All Things Digital conference
scheduled to kick
off May 31 in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.-and perhaps offer a glimpse of
Windows 8 in action.
Even as it
printed Ballmer's comments on its Website, Microsoft seemed intent on tamping
down the burst of Windows 8 news. "It appears there was a misstatement," a
Microsoft spokesperson wrote in a statement circulated to media
. "To date, we have yet to
formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows."
could be concerned that premature news of the next version of Windows would
curb momentum for Windows 7, released in October 2009. Windows 7 has sold well
among consumers and the enterprise, swallowing up market share held by the
nearly decade-old Windows XP and helping erase memories of the much-maligned
announced during this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January that the
next-generation platform will support SoC (system-on-a-chip) architecture, in
particular ARM-based systems from partners such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas
Instruments. That would give Microsoft the ability to port the next
Windows-dubbed "Windows 8" by some in the media, although no official name has
been announced-onto tablets and other mobile form factors powered by ARM
hood, there are a ton of differences that need to be worked through," Sinofsky
told the audience during his CES presentation. Nonetheless, he added, "Windows
has proven remarkably flexible at this under-the-hood sort of stuff."
however, Microsoft has kept details of the next Windows firmly under wraps. In
April, bloggers Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott dissected various features of
what they called an early operating-system build on Rivera's Within Windows
blog. According to those postings, the next version of Windows could
incorporate an Office-style ribbon interface into Windows Explorer, complete
with tools for viewing libraries and manipulating images. The bloggers also
included a screenshot of an early device-unlock window, done in the "Metro"
design style already present in Windows Phone.