According to a trusted company watcher, Windows 8 may become available to the general public in early 2013 instead of late 2012 as it is expected now.
This gives other companies, such as Apple and Amazon, more time to work on improving their tablets while Microsoft hasn’t even come out with its operating system yet.
This would be the first delay for the new operating system, and it’s not good.
This delay may not hurt Microsoft as much right now, but usually one delay leads to another, and another, and another, eventually leaving Microsoft behind in the dust as tablets running Google’s mobile operating system Android and Apple’s iPad take the entire market.
The iPad right now does have the entire market, and that might stay the same way if Windows 8 doesn’t come in soon.
When asked about when Windows 8 code would be completed, Michael Cherry at independent research firm Directions on Microsoft said, “I think it’s about a year away, [but] then you have to factor in the delay between releasing the code to PC manufacturers to install on new machines – known as RTM – and general availability.
I believe there will be a RTM somewhere in the last quarter of 2012. Traditionally there’s been a 90-day gap between RTM and general availability, To me, that means machine availability in 2013.”
Microsoft actually does like to have a time period between the releasing of code to manufacturers and allowing the device to go one sale. This is because once every manufacturer has time to install the operating system on the device, every new computer will have Windows 8 on the same day, thus creating marketing buzz.
When asked about how good Windows 8 is right now, Cherry responded, “I think the work they are doing is really good, but really good stuff takes time.”
Right now we have the Windows 8 developer preview, which is the only version of Windows 8 that the general public can have right now. The developer preview is buggy, has a few glitches, and doesn’t ship with all the features of the final release. It doesn’t even ship with basic ones like Metro customization.
This is all expected. It’s a free developer preview, it’s not even in beta yet, and beta can be very buggy as well. The beta is expected to start shipping early next year, possibly at CES (Consumer Electronics Convention) where many other electronic devices and software will be shown.
Now what about those reports of Samsung and Nokia planning to ship Windows 8 tablets in fall of 2012 or even as early as June?
Cherry addressed that question as well, “How I choose to interpret that is: they’ll have a set of hardware requirements from Microsoft at that time, they will build the machines based on the Windows 8 requirements, but they will initially sell them with Windows 7 on them, They may or may not include a coupon that says you get a free Windows 8 if and when it ships.”
But he made a good point regarding to OEMs and shipping dates, “It doesn’t matter what the head of any OEM ( Original Equipment Manufacturer) says the ship date is. The only person that can give me a ship date is [Steven] Sinofsky. And as of this time, he chooses not to do so.”