Microsoft muddies waters after Balmer blurts on Windows 8

Microsoft has denied comments about the release of the next version of Windows, despite it being CEO Steve Ballmer who made them at a recent event. "It appears there was a misstatement" Microsoft insists, after Ballmer told Japanese developers that "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" on Monday. It's unclear whether Ballmer's blunder was in the name of the OS or its release timetable.

Instead, Microsoft's PR team claims, "we are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows." Although Windows 8 is believed to be the name which Microsoft will use for its updated platform at launch, the company is yet to actually confirm that and may not, indeed, until very close to the commercial release. Windows 7, for instance, was only christened weeks before it hit PCs and store shelves.

It's not the first confusion around the platform in recent weeks either. Microsoft called Intel "factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading" after SVP Renee James suggested Windows 8 would be launched in four different flavors for ARM processors, each version incapable of running both legacy x86 apps and apps intended for the other versions.