Are The “Leaked” Windows 8 Ship Dates Serious?

It never ceases to amaze me that these sort of things surface. There are, quite naturally, many people who get interested in what is new coming from any software company, but lately, we have to ask ourselves, with Microsoft, “Is this coming from an anxious outside party, or directly from the company?”

After the barrage of leaked versions of Windows 7 last year, the answer is that many of them were indeed leaked by Microsoft, and so the term should not have been leaked, but instead quietly released with hopes of starting a wildfire in the user space.

This time, however, we must ask if this is a joke, or a real thought from the minds of Redmond. If it is, we must look forward to releases that are going to be more buggy and less ambitious. Fewer and fewer changes will change from version to version, and this could be a good thing, or it could backfire. If it is seen as good, it might mean that the transitions will be seen as very smooth, and that would be a good thing for Microsoft. However, the swift movement from major version to major version may be taken as just another money grab, as everyone knows that major revisions always require payment, unlike Service Packs, or minor revision changes.

As someone commented about this to me, I looked around to see what might be on the web about it, and found a piece in Maximum PC -

It seems like just yesterday we were putting on our cardigans and hamming it up with complete strangers at our Windows 7 party, and that’s because it kind of was. And with Redmond’s latest OS barely three months old, there’s already talk of Windows 8, including a release date that was supposedly leaked to the Web.

According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, former Microsoft employee Chris Green drew up a chart detailing Microsoft’s roadmap for future product releases. In it, he reveals the following release schedule:

  • Windows 8: July 1, 2011
  • Windows Server 2012: July 2, 2012
  • Office 2012: July 2, 2012
  • SQL Server 2011: July 1, 2011
  • SharePoint Server 2013: July 1, 2013
  • Exchange 2013: July 1, 2013
  • OCS 2010: December 1, 2010

These are all RTM (Release to Manufacturing) dates, and if they’re legit, it means Microsoft plans to pull-forward the Windows 8 RTM date from what would typically be a three-year interval between OSes.

Color us skeptical.

Color me very suspicious. Not in total disbelief, but suspicious, for the reasons above. My reasons above are a perfectly good explanation of why these dates could be true.

I hope it is not true, but stranger things have happened – we are 90 days out from the wide release of Windows 7, and no one is screaming for the release of a Service Pack to fix the glaring mistakes left in the release. That, in itself, for Microsoft, is amazing. Then again, they had the help of literally millions of beta testers to refine the product.

As a matter of fact, I find myself thinking that the only things I dislike about Windows 7 are the omissions and changes that are completely documented. (My largest complaint right now is the inability to the OS to remember where windows were places the last time the program was used. This is extremely annoying. Couple that with the removal of the nView utility that would keep centered dialog boxes from popping up across monitors on dual monitor systems, and I am peeved at both Microsoft, and nVidia – though I am inclined to give nVidia a pass, as Microsoft may have made the ability to do such things difficult to impossible.)

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microsoft-logoFUD? from Fudzilla? or is it quiet news from Microsoft?

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