Earlier today we pinged Microsoft, asking for new details on Windows 8’s release schedule. Of course, we were rebuffed, but it forced us into wondering if the recently leaked, potential Q3 tablet release date is feasible.
After some very minor sleuthing, thanks to Wikipedia’s nearly creepy coverage of the Windows 7 release cycle, we have come to the conclusion that not only is Q3 a functional date for Windows 8 hardware to land in the market, it’s pretty damn likely. Let us tell you why.
At PDC 2008, Microsoft distributed a pre-beta build of Windows 7 to attendees for testing. The build, numbered 6801, was commonly called the PDC build. Various leaks followed (and continued to do so after every official release). Then came the beta distribution on January 7th, 2009. That was followed by a pre-Release Candidate build on March 21, 2009, and the formal RC on April 30th of that year.
Then we hit the pre-Release to Manufacturer build on May 7, 2009. And finally, Microsoft shipped Windows 7 to OEMs in its final release form on July 24th. Time from the 28th of October, 2008 to July 24th, 2009? A total of 269 days.
Right, so what does all this have to do with Windows 8? Microsoft took the wraps off of, and began to distribute the developer preview of Windows 8 on the 13th of September, 2011. Now, it took Windows 7 269 days to go from its first build, released at the yearly Microsoft developer event, to full RTM. What is 269 days, then, after the 13 of September of this year? Well, it’s Friday, June 8th, 2012.
Now, what counts as ‘third quarter?’ Good question. According to the people who best know quarters, the stock dorks, the months in the third quarter are July, August, and September. That means Q3 is between one and four months after the date that Windows 8, assuming it follows in Windows 7’s footsteps, should be released. That would give OEMs enough time to test the latest build, tweak as needed, and crank the wheel of production to get devices shipped. In other words, Q3 2012 should be a go, unless ASUS is confused, or Microsoft screws the pooch.