Microsoft's Windows 8 was just revealed recently with a demo of the tablet-friendly interface at the D9 conference and then some actual hardware prototypes shown at Computex 2011. Future Windows desktops, notebooks, and tablets will all be running Windows 8 and the release date is now hinted for Autumn 2012.
Microsoft VP, Dan'l Lewin, was speaking at the startup LAUNCH event at the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus when he hinted at the Windows 8 timeline. He suggested that Windows 8 will be in the market 12 months after the initial beta.
“We’ve made the point about having a developer conference later this year,” said Lewin. “Then typically we enter a beta phase, and then in 12 months we’re in the market, so let’s make that assumption.”
Lewin also spoke about his views on tablet and smartphone operating systems. “I think tablets are big phones, more or less and I think they will want, over time, some of the capabilities that PC architectures have," said Lewin. Windows 8 will be unifying at least PCs and tablets, but without a proven tablet device on the market yet, the complete integration of the Windows Phone platform will still be quite far off. The Windows Phone Mango update is still on its way.
When asked about why it took Microsoft so long to get into the tablet arena, Lewin revealed that the new Windows 8 tablet UI existed before the iPad was released. "We knew where we were going, we just have to get there faster. We’re executing as fast as we can."