We’re obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows. Windows 7 PCs will sell over 350 million units this year. We’ve done a lot in Windows 7 to improve customer satisfaction. We have a brand new user interface. We’ve added touch, and ink, and speech. And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there’s a whole lot more coming. 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.
That was a quote from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during remarks at a developers conference in Japan on May 23.
This is big because this is really the confirmation we have been waiting for that:
- This next release will be called Windows 8
- It’s coming out in 2012
Microsoft is expected to provide testers with a first tech preview or beta of Windows 8 in mid-September during the company’s developer conference in Anaheim, Calif.
The rumored release-to-manufacturing date of Windows 8 is mid-2012, with holiday 2012 retail availability targeted.
His full comments can be read here