Windows 8 set for 2012 release

An Official Microsoft roadmap shows that Windows 8 is due to launch in 2012.

Windows 8 set for 2012 release

The roadmap was spotted by the website Microsoft Kitchen at last week’s Professional Developers Conference in LA. Although Microsoft said next to nothing about Windows 8 in public, the roadmap was delivered to the company’s partners.

The timescale is similar to the gap between Windows Vista (which officially launched in January 2007) and Windows 7 (which shipped in October), although the early success of Windows 7 suggests there’s no need for Microsoft to rush out another client OS.

Microsoft has said very little about its plans for Windows 8 to date, although clues have started to emerge about the next-gen operating system. The LinkedIn profile of a Microsoft researcher revealed that the company is working on making the Windows 8 kernel 128-bit compatible, upping the ante from the 32- and 64-bit Windows 7. The researcher’s profile said the company was working with processor partners such as Intel, AMD, HP and IBM on the transition.

On a recent visit to London, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer also reaffirmed the company’s commitment to heavyweight client OSes, dismissing rumours that future versions of Windows would become more modular.

That puts clear blue water between Microsoft and Google, which last week unveiled full details of its Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system primarily aimed at the netbook market.

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