Not just a few of us have been left scratching our heads about what Microsoft is up to regarding the potential release date of Windows 8.
It seems I’m just one of many analysts who is now completely befuddled – and it’s all due to a new leaked report from Dell about the release dates of their up and coming products.
Normally, except for unexpected delays and other issues, Microsoft’s habit seems to be to release a new and updated Windows version every three years or so. With Windows 7 being released in the back end of 2009, that would put the expected Windows 8 release date to be around fall or winter of 2012, still a year and a half away.
So why then, is Dell planning the release of a Windows 8 enabled tablet device as soon as the first quarter of next year? Do they know something that nobody else does?
I’m not the only one to be bewildered by the leaked Dell product ‘roadmap’, which shows, amongst several other new products that we know much more about, the release of the Peju, a tablet device which is supposedly going to be using the Windows 8 platform.
The penciled in release date for Peju is marked as being around Jan/Feb/Mar, 2012.
Could we be expecting Windows 8 to be released before that time? This seems unlikely, but you never can tell.
However, a more likely answer might be found in the recent post by Mary Jo Foley made on ZDNet.com. She suggests that Microsoft may indeed be releasing Windows 8 earlier, but only for “system on a chip” devices such as the ARM processor – which makes a Windows 8 enabled tablet device in early 2012 seem possible.
Microsoft may feel compelled to try and get something out earlier in order to compete with their fierce rivals Google and Apple, who are currently way out in front in the tablet industry – something Microsoft desperately wants to be in on.
For now though, we simply can’t be certain. Microsoft are keeping tight-lipped about the whole situation. Perhaps we should be asking Dell what they know?