02 Windows 8 is expected to launch in October

Not entirely unexpectedly, Microsoft is aiming for an October launch for Windows 8 and we should see both the x86 and ARM versions launch at the same time. This would give Microsoft ample time to get its new OS out into the channel in time for the holiday shopping season, be it on new devices or in retail boxed versions.

Not entirely unexpectedly, Microsoft is aiming for an October launch for Windows 8 and we should see both the x86 and ARM versions launch at the same time. This would give Microsoft ample time to get its new OS out into the channel in time for the holiday shopping season, be it on new devices or in retail boxed versions.

Bloomberg is reporting that the OS will in fact be finished sometime this summer and that Microsoft is preparing a partner event for next month where it will detail its Windows 8 strategy, especially with regards to timing and marketing. We'd expect more details to slip out into the public after that event, although as we know, things can change quite quickly in this industry, but Microsoft needs to get its new version of Windows out in a timely manner if it wants to hit the holiday season.

As for ARM based devices it appears that Microsoft is working with a few select partners for the initial launch and Bloomberg reports that the upcoming ARM devices are being quality controlled by Microsoft as to meet the highest standards. There's no doubt that is an important launch for Microsoft, as if the ARM version of the OS and the accompanying devices prove to be a flop, Microsoft might be out of the ARM market space until the company has a new version of Windows.

Apparently three of the ARM based partner devices at launch will be tablets, but it's not known how many devices will launch in total. We're hearing rumours of Asus Transformer like devices being popular among some of the partners, but we'd also expect a range of new interesting devices like Lenovo's Yoga convertible notebook. The question is if the fairly limited version of Windows 8 which will run on ARM devices will be enough to satisfy consumer demand, considering that so far it's been an OS on productivity devices rather than on consumption devices. It'll be even more interesting to see if Microsoft can appeal to its target market with the new devices we'll see, or if it'll prove to be a tough sale, just as the case has been with most Android based tablets.

Source: Bloomberg