We’re now hearing some new rumors that are citing completely different dates from what we’ve heard in the past. These are the first set of rumors to not agree with the previous roadmaps leaked, including various reputable sources.
According to Businessweek’s sources, public testing of the next Windows will begin at the end of the year. As well, we will not be seeing a tablet until around June 2012:
Windows 7 Beta was leaked a week and a half before the public beta was released. Windows 7 Release Candidate was released roughly five months later.Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, won’t release a competitor to Apple Inc. and Google Inc.’s tablet operating systems until the 2012 back-to- school season, people with knowledge of the plans said.
Public testing of a new version of Windows will begin at the end of this year with partners and customers, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans haven’t been disclosed publicly.
Update: Morgan Stanley’s bluepaper on Tablet Demand and Disruption displayed the following roadmap, showing a Windows 8 release date for tablets in first half of 2012.
More Windows 8 Beta in Q4 2011, no Windows 8 tablets until June 2012