The cross-platform operating system will ship to manufacturers in August with a commercial launch to follow in late October

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

July 9, 2012

2 Min Read
Microsoft Sets a Windows 8 Timeline

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s flagship desktop operating system, Windows 8, will release to manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August, with a retail launch planned for October, the company confirmed on Monday.

Addressing attendees at the Redmond, Wash.-based company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Microsoft's Corporate VP of Windows Tami Reller said the company is on track to finish the final copy of Windows 8 in early August. At that time, it will ship it off to its hardware partners to implement and commercially launch by late October, she said. The OS will ship to 109 countries in 231 languages.

The company hasn't said whether the tablet version of the OS, Windows RT, will be available at that time, although Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) execs suggested last month that Windows 8 tablets based on its Snapdragon processor would come out this fall. Samsung Corp. is rumored to be among the first manufacturers to release a Windows RT around that time. (See Qualcomm Preps Snapdragon Windows RT Tablets.)

Why this matters
Launching this fall means Microsoft will make it to market in time for the important holiday-buying season, which should help its prospects. The launch could also be important in the wireless market, since many wireless operators, handset makers and, of course, Microsoft are counting on the mobile version of the OS, Windows Phone 8, to create a third, viable software ecosystem versus Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Android.

This is good news for developers, too. Windows 8 will share a common core with the mobile version, meaning developers can create cross-platform apps more easily. (See Windows Phone 8 Gets 'Common Core'.)

For more

  • Poll: Microsoft's Surface-Level Tablet Specs

  • Microsoft Surface: Where's the 4G Wireless?

  • OS Watch: Windows Phone 8 Specs Revealed

  • Microsoft Fights Fire With Nook Investment

  • Euronews: Nokia Working on 'Stand Out' Tablet

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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