Or maybe not. The next version of Microsoft’s Windows Operating System will be available next year according to the software giant’s CEO, although he may have said a little too much.
There is still a lot of secrecy around the next major evolution of the Windows operating system. Microsoft has only officially stated that it will be compatible with the ARM architecture, while some leaks and rumours have provided some additional information.
The latest rumour has it that a public demonstration of Windows 8 on an ARM powered tablet is imminent, with a tablet version of the OS to be available before the desktop version.
While a number of market watchers are betting that Windows 8 will be available next year or early 2013, Microsoft has for the time being remained mum on this subject – that was until their CEO stepped in it.
Yesterday, before an auditorium full of developers in Tokyo, Japan, Steve Ballmer let slip that the "next generation Windows systems will be released next year". He was clearly referencing Windows 8 with its various forms – tablets and PC’s, stating it will be available in "variety of different form factors".
Continuing, Steve Ballmer made it known that an increasing number of PC functions will be seen in smaller devices. "I think there will be a day in the future where it will be hard to distinguish a phone from a slate, from a PC".
This is the first time that a manager at Microsoft has officially spoken of a release date – or rather period – while also confirming the Windows 8 name. It appears though that even the software giant’s CEO needs to learn to control his enthusiasm to avoid making certain statements.
Steve Ballmer incorrectly spoke In a press release, Microsoft claims that there was a "misstatement". "We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows".
This is a denial which will have trouble fooling most people. Windows 8 is perhaps not the definitive name of the future OS. As for the release date, Microsoft prefers to be cautious. The future OS could actually end up closely resembling Windows 7 in the desktop version.
Steve Ballmer did in any event confirm that they are hoping to sell more than 350 million PC’s globally this year with Windows 7. "We've done a lot in Windows 7 to improve customer satisfaction". They better hope that sales don’t slow down due to Windows 8.