Microsoft VP hints at Windows 8 release date

By Tom Warren, on 15th Jun 11 12:15 pm with 26 Comments

Windows 8 tablets preview

A Microsoft VP has hinted at the upcoming Windows 8 release date.

Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president for Strategic and Emerging Business Development, revealed that the company is targeting an Autumn 2012 release for Windows 8. Speaking at the start-up LAUNCH event at the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus, Lewin hinted that Microsoft will be “in the market” 12 months after the initial beta period. “We’ve made the point about having a developer conference later this year,” said Lewin. “Then typically we enter a beta phase, and then in 12 months we’re in the market, so let’s make that assumption.”

Lewin also spoke briefly about his views on Tablets and phones running separate versions of Windows. TechRadar reports that Lewin feels they are the same thing. “Our strategy is a statement about phones and tablets being more or less the same thing,” he said. “I think tablets are big phones, more or less and I think they will want, over time, some of the capabilities that PC architectures have.” The software giant held a technical preview at Computex recently to demonstrate Windows 8 to hardware partners. Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem at Microsoft, demonstrated Windows 8 on a variety of tablets. Angiulo showed how Windows 8 works across x86 and ARM-based chips. Microsoft previously introduced a technology preview of its Windows ARM support by showing off an early build of Windows 8 at CES 2011. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices.

Microsoft has been long critized for not responding to strong iPad and Android sales of tablets. Lewin addresses the criticisms by claiming Microsoft will get there in the end. “I think it will just be a race once we get in the market,” said Lewin. He also revealed that the new Windows 8 tablet UI started before the iPad was released. “We knew where we were going, we just have to get there faster. We’re executing as fast as we can.”

Microsoft revealed its new Windows 8 user interface during the All Things Digital D9 conference recently. Windows chief Steven Sinofsky detailed the company’s future plans for Windows and revealed that the firm plans to speak more about Windows 8 at the BUILD conference in September. Windows 8 includes a new user interface which takes elements from the company’s Windows Phone 7 software. Microsoft will allow users to launch apps from a tile-based start screen, which replaces the traditional Windows Start menu. Applications include live tile notifications and fluid, natural switching between applications. Microsoft has also built in the ability to snap and resize an application to the side of the screen and multitask outside of the new touch UI. The new applications will be web powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript, with full access to the power of the PC. Microsoft is positioning Internet Explorer 10 at the heart of the Windows 8 app experience.

  • Eingoluq

    late 2012 then… OK.
    is Microsoft confused? First they realised that the phone is not a PC. and they think that Tablets are just touch enabled PCs. And now Tablets are big phones so that mean phones are PCs again?

    • GP007

      When did MS say a tablet is a big phone?     MS sticking with Windows on tablets means that yes a tablet is a PC, it should be unless you just want an expensive reader.

    • Eingoluq

      did you not read the article?

    • Eingoluq

      did you not read the article?

    • Mina Almasry

      The guy in the article means that other people think of tablets as big phones, and give them phone OSes. MS disagrees, and thinks of them as PCs and hence a PC OS.

    • Anonymous

      The fact is that PC’s could be phones for a very long time. Back in the day you added a modem and software and you got a phone and a fax machine. Add a printer to print your faxes. With the advent of WiFi and 3G/4G your tablet can now be a phone too. And of course your phone is now a smart phone which includes consumer and business apps like Office, Office 365 and SharePoint making them small pocketable computers. Tablets upscale that experience and bring in backwards compatibility with legacy PC apps making them a larger portable computer with more usable space than a phone. Are you still confused? I’m not sure why, I’m not. They can all do the same thing now, with mobility and usable screen real estate being the major differentiators. I’m betting Microsoft isn’t confused either.

    • Whitney

      I think the implication here is that the current approach of Windows 8 could finally bridge the divide between PC–>tablet–>smartphone. In the past, they tried to shove the full Windows experience down into a smartphone (and we all know how well that went). Being able to run Windows 8 on ARM speaks to this more nimble model, which I think can win the day in tablets. I for one love the idea of an iPad sized device that has full *business* functionality.  Delivering that would get many wallets opened.

    • Renzo

      You’re confused.

      One major fallacy in your logic:

      No one thinks a PC is a phone, but everyone agrees all PCs (and inherently, tablets) have the same communication capabilities of a mobile phone (and more, like video conferencing).

  • Paul_vansteenkiste

    Yes, Finally I can pick up my superbig pc Tower and make a call with it :p

  • Anonymous

    interesting that this is about the same time Windows Phone Apollo is meant to ship too.

  • Anonymous

    interesting that this is about the same time Windows Phone Apollo is meant to ship too.

  • Guest

    Android sales have not been good. They’ve been rushing it out and MS will get better sales seeing as they aren’t rushing it.

  • Guest

    Android sales have not been good. They’ve been rushing it out and MS will get better sales seeing as they aren’t rushing it.


    ummm either some people are gonna get fired over at Microsoft or this is some fog of war type thing. The statement will undoubtedly affect stock prices and shake consumer confidence in the brand. It also re-enforces the preception that MS is too large too slow and too miopic to see what needs/must be done to be on par with the current state of affairs in the tech industry…

    In hind site, this is a BD guy and he might be speaking about when his group could expect to hit up the enterprise and large clients for a Win 8 upgrade, but I didn’t see those hints in his statement it was more of a general one outlining the usual cycle over at MS.

    I find it funny how he made it sound like business as usual, you know “12 months of beta”! WTF? Why don’t you throw crowds and crowds at it and shorten the period? Why release all flavors on day 1? Come out with the consumer aimed stuff earlier? Release server and Ultimate 6 months or a year later! Whatever, I am pissed off now.

    • Aaron

      Windows 7 had a long and open beta period as well and was a smashing success.

      It is a risky strategy for them to use the same OS on tablets as on desktop/laptops.  However, once they decided to go that route, you cannot be shocked at the 2012 date for the OS release.  Windows 7 is just now starting to grab majority market share so it would be to early to release Windows 8.

    • Lachlan C McLeod

      they are holding back from the temptation of releasing it too early like android and the playbook.. android sales have been soo much less then what they thought because the platform is not stable enough and it pretty much in beta still..

  • Mister Twister

     I really think they have to shorten their development cycle. Microsoft can announce a product they’ve started and google could start and finish a copy of it it before Microsoft releases it. What version is chrome in right now? I love windows 8 and will patiently wait for it but I know others who will not if this schedule is to be believed.

    • Renzo

      Chrome or any of the Google web apps are somewhat “simple” from a software point of view. Windows on the other hand is an entire operating system that is also backwards compatible.

      Development cycles (including massive regression and compatibility testing) for OSes requires a ton of more man power. As a developer I’m actually quite pleased with the new 2-3 year dev cycle for Windows; no other system on Earth as big or as complex can claim such a short cycle between major releases.

      Hope that helps.

  • oolong2

    Not really a surprise…   I would expect a beta release in the fall (probably during the BUILD conference) and a public release next year.

    However this does not mean that Microsoft doesn’t plan on releasing tablets with Windows 8 on it much sooner than that.  It would be easier to create a build of Windows 8 catered to a particular device than an installable version of Windows 8 compatible with ALL devices.

    So I still think there is a good chance we’ll see a Windows 8 tablet released in time for holiday or at least have a few show up at CES for a spring release.

    The other interesting part is the statement that  ”the new Windows 8 tablet UI started before the iPad was released.”…   Which puts it right around the time when Courier was officially canceled.

    This confirms the idea that Courier was canceled because they decided it didn’t make sense to have two different OSes for tablet/journaling and desktop/laptops instead they decided to just include Courier functionality within Windows 8.

    • Guest

      How do you release a W8 tablet when W8 hasn’t RTM’d? If MS were going to fork development, they wouldn’t have elected to wait for W8 in order to attempt a tablet comeback.

  • Mark

    late 2012 for the PC = OK

    for a tablet = Suicidal.

    • Renzo

      I don’t get this argument. Like they say it’s really an iPad market we’re seeing, not a tablet one. Android has failed to compete so now our only hope is Microsoft.

      I really love the iPad, hate the Android tablets, and I think most will agree we need real competition.

  • Márton Vörös windows 8 style browser homepage (plus download source as zip) 

  • Anonymous

    I have to wait more then 1 year? Damn :-/

  • Avatar X

    Shocked by this shocking revelation i tell you… 


    But W8 ARM will indeed arrive sooner in Q2 of 2012, just not for sale (actually W8 ARM may not be for sale beyond OEM level at first, if ever)  and only a very few set of shipping hardware. Or at least, that would be Microsoft’s plan.

  • Anonymous

    >> Mark:  late 2012 for the PC = OK
    For a tablet = Suicidal

    Just a little HISTORY lesson you might want to consider…

    A few years back, the BIGGEST story in Social Networking was MySpace. It
    was so big and such a hit with teens…and the broadened out to all
    sorts of other people who started to used it…that when Rupert Murdoch
    bought it for about $500 million it was literally called the “Deal of
    the Century.” Because most analysts and supposed “in the know” people
    thought even that price was undervalued, and that MySpace was easily
    going to be worth over a BILLION dollars…if not even more.

    Only a funny thing happened on the way to the bank. Suddenly there was a
    new face on the block called Facebook. And in the blink of the eye,
    people migrated to that instead. So much so that over the last few years
    MySpace totally faded into “has been” status, and just this week it was
    reported that Murdoch is now likely to dump the company at a fire sale
    price of a mere $20-30 million…which means he’ll have taken a
    staggering $470 MILLION bath on the deal.

    Bottom line: there will always be something newer…flashier…or even
    just “friendlier” that people suddenly decide they “like”, at which
    point they migrate to it. Speaking as someone who lives and works in
    Hollywood — trust me — the notion of “flavor of the month” things is a
    way of life. So, the iPad jumped out of the gate strong and A LOT of
    credit is due to the device for cementing the tablet into the public
    consciousness, the story for tablets will HARDLY end there. Overall, I
    suspect Apple — as Apple always does — will find perpetual converts to
    buy their goods…

    …But I also have no doubt that IF Microsoft can produce a viable
    tablet OS alternative, it will be a success as well. After all, given
    how many people do prefer and buy and use a PC over a Mac, that same
    overwhelming number of people will likewise find a Windows-based tablet
    accessible and “familiar” to them. Which means they’ll prefer and want
    it, too, simply because it matches and syncs with the computer they use
    elsewhere in their life (be it a desktop or laptop).

    There’s NOTHING “suicidal” about coming late to the game. The ONLY thing
    that would be “suicidal” would be to screw things up by releasing a
    tablet OS that’s a total mess. But it seems that Microsoft has learned
    its lessons from the past…they’ve obviously seen the success of the
    iPad…and they now realize they NEED to make any Windows 8 tablet OS
    totally solid.

    So, I’ll look forward to what they come up with because, quite frankly, I
    actually think the iPad is vastly overrated — both in terms of
    hardware and software — for what it can ACTUALLY do.