Report: Windows 8 RTM Due April 2012

Dennis Faas's picture

According to a new rumor making its way through the industry, Microsoft will release its RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version of Windows 8 next spring -- April 2012, to be exact. That would correspond with another recent rumor which suggest that the full release of Windows 8 will be on store shelves come the fall or holiday of 2012.

The most recent report comes courtesy of Mary Jo Foley, a prominent tech blogger and Microsoft expert for ZDNet. According to Foley's source, who she says is a trusted one, Microsoft is on track to release to manufacturing all versions of Windows 8 by April 2012.

First (and Only) Beta Due in September -- Most Likely

This speculative timeline means several things. For one, it's expected a first beta of Windows 8 will be ready for the Build conference in mid-September 2011, when developers get their first look at the new operating system (OS).

Foley's contact indicated that this would be the one and only beta for Windows 8, but it will be followed by a final Release Candidate (RC), probably shortly after the New Year. (Source:

The next important milestone, then, would be the release to manufacturing version of Windows 8 in April. This would mark the final stage before it's released to home consumers, probably in the fall of 2012.

Nothing Yet Official

Foley offers a few caveats, however. None of this information is yet official, and to be frank, Microsoft has remained exceedingly quiet on the topic.

To date, our only official word on Windows 8 from Microsoft is that the next OS should be due between 24 and 36 months after the release of its popular Windows 7. That's a big window, and it's unclear if it starts with the business release of Windows 7 or the home release of the OS (which was a few months later, of course).

Despite all the uncertainty, Foley's pretty convinced that RTM build of Windows 8 will arrive next April.

"April sounds better than July, especially for partners and customers trying to hold out for Microsoft to deliver an operating system that will be optimized touch tablets," Foley said. (Source:

"And if the April 2012 RTM target turns out to be reality, there will be no question about Microsoft and its OEMs being able to deliver Windows 8 PCs and tablets in time for holiday 2012."

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