Microsoft is on the verge of finishing its second Milestone build of Windows 8, WinRumors has learned.
The software giant has compiled a number of Milestone 2 builds recently ready for the final M2 build that will be distributed internally and externally to the company’s closest partners. Microsoft compiled 6.2.7947.0.winmain_win8m2_escrow.110218-1608 on Friday following a number of Windows 8 builds over the past couple of weeks:
Microsoft’s escrow stage for Windows 8 is a significant stage towards a Windows 8 beta. The escrow stage marks the fact that Microsoft is ready to compile a final M2 build during its development stage. Microsoft is likely to start compiling Milestone 3 builds in early March following the finalization of M2. Microsoft began compiling Milestone 1 builds of Windows 8 in early August 2010. The software giant finalized the M1 build in early December after four months of development. M2 builds began in early December and are expected to be finalized in the next two weeks. Milestone 3 development is expected to last until early June. The current schedule could mean we’ll see a Windows 8 beta in the Summer.
Microsoft may introduce Windows 8 ARM based tablets ahead of a full desktop release according to recent reports. Microsoft’s competitive tablet strategy is believed to be further along than expected. Dell’s recently leaked Tablet Roadmap revealed that the OEM has marked Q1 2012 as its date for a Windows 8 based slate. WinRumors understands that Microsoft has been working on an ARM based version of Windows for nearly a year and that it is laboring hard to bring this to the market as soon as possible. Microsoft has previously promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8.
Microsoft has so far been extremely quiet on the Windows 8 front. Windows Chief, Steven Sinofsky, took to the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to introduce a technology preview of Microsoft’s Windows ARM support and show off an early build of Windows 8. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices. Rumors suggest that Microsoft will create a dual-UI for Windows 8. A tile-based user interface codenamed “Mosh” will reportedly be included.
Steve Ballmer has described the next release of Windows as the company’s “riskiest product bet”. It is understood that Microsoft will feature deep cloud integration into the future OS to realise its vision of “three screens and a cloud”.
Thanks to Canouna for the news tip