Windows 8 roadmap: A picture is worth a thousand build numbers


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
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Aug 28, 2007
More food for thought...

Given the very few (and occasionally confusing) leaks around Windows 8, an update as to how things are progressing is always welcome.
In early 2011, a source of mine passed on to me what he claimed was a snapshot of the internal Windows 8 roadmap. On that roadmap snippet are a lot of alleged internal dates for Windows 8 Milestone 2, the second of what are expected to be three major internal builds of Windows 8. I showed off this roadmap during Link Removed (which is available for listening as a free, on-demand file).
Here is the Windows 8 roadmap slide I showed off, for those who missed it:

(click on image above to enlarge)
What’s interesting to me is how closely this roadmap snippet seems to be mirroring the timelines and build information from a few sites and sources claiming access to leaked Win 8 builds. On February 21, there were reports that Link Removed. On the roadmap above, final M2 build candidate is slated to arrive on February 23. And according to the roadmap above, the coding for Milestone 3 (M3) is due to start a week from today, on February 28.
Milestone 2, according to the roadmap, took the Windows client team five months. If M3 takes another five months — which it might if it has to go through all the same coding/integration/fixing/lockdown steps as M2 did — that would put its completion date around the end of July. Factor in a month or so for any kind of private Community Technology Preview (CTP) testing, and a beta around the time of this year’s Professional Developers Conference — which I’m still hearing is slated for September 2011 — looks downright doable.
The Windows client team, as you might expect, isn’t commenting on any timetables, build numbers, roadmaps or anything else pertaining to Windows 8 or Windows Next. (I tried using the Microsoft-favored “Win Next” just to see if I could muster a comment. No go.)
Microsoft execs also are not commenting on an alleged Dell roadmap leak from last week, which made it appear as if Dell will have a Windows 8 tablet ready in time for January 2012. While I wondered aloud last week (as did at least one Wall Street analyst) whether that meant Microsoft might be further along with Win 8 for systems-on-a-chip (SoC) processors than many of us previously believed, I’ve heard since that probably isn’t the case. That would mean the Dell “Peju” Win 8 tablet could be nothing but a demo machine for select developers … and maybe a debut at a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote (?)…
In any case, if Microsoft does follow history and deliver a Win 8 Beta 1, Beta 2 and Release Candidate before RTMing, Windows 8 is looking like a mid-2012 RTM. The Windows 8 train seems to be running on time — just like the Win 7 one did.