Report: Microsoft Windows 8 Coming In 2012

Last week, the Microsoft Kitchen blog posted a pair of Windows Server roadmap slides that list 2012 as the timeframe for Windows 8's release. Microsoft showed the slides to attendees of last week's Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles, the blog suggests.

The slides offer no additional information other than a reiteration of Microsoft's practice of launching 'major' releases about four years and 'updates' about every two years, which means Windows 8 will be a major release.

Microsoft hasn't said anything about its plans to develop a Windows 8, but there are signs that it's already begun recruiting the talent to help build it. Earlier this month, a job listing on Microsoft's careers site indicated that Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group would begin focusing on Windows 8 in the software giant's 2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2010.

Meanwhile, published reports suggest Microsoft is currently working on the first service pack for Windows 7 and plans to release a beta in January 2010, with release to OEMs slated for the summer and public availability in the fall.

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Microsoft claims to have sold twice as many units of Windows 7 as any other OS in its history in a comparable time period, and last week at Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting, CEO Steve Ballmer said Microsoft is off to a "fantastic start" with Windows 7.