Microsoft is keeping everyone guessing about the release date of both the Windows 8 RTM version and the final version. Bloomberg (via Windows 8 News) is now citing unnamed sources close to Microsoft that Windows 8 will go on sale “around” October 2012. According to the news article posted on the site, the release will include versions for both Intel and ARM devices.
System manufacturers working with Microsoft will release more than 40 Intel machines running Windows 8, and five ARM devices that run a customized version of the operating system. While not confirmed or denied, it is likely that Microsoft will release the operating system in chunks. If the Windows 7 launch is anything to go by, countries like the United States, Germany, Spain and France would be the first where the operating system would go on sale, followed by other countries over the course of months.
Considering the success of the initial launch of Windows 7, it is likely that Microsoft will mimic the release as closely as possible. While we have not heard of any Windows 8 Family Packs being announced yet, there is a chance that the company will make those available as well. Family Packs contain multiple licenses of the operating system for a reduced price that can be used on different computers in one household (You find more information about Family Packs on Everything Microsoft).
Bloomberg also reports that Microsoft will hold a partner-event in April 2012 where it will provide Microsoft partners with the Windows 8 release strategy.
A Windows 8 release in October would fall directly in line with my 2010 prediction that Windows 8 will be released in that month. Back then I looked at correlations between the Windows 7 development process and an official information that were posted on the Dutch Microsoft site at that time.
Interested in the editions that Microsoft will release? According to Windows 8 News, Microsoft will actually release more editions than were released when Windows 7 came out. This can be mainly attributed to the ARM edition.
What are you going to do if Microsoft will release Windows 8 in October? Will you buy it immediately, wait until a service pack gets released, or will you skip the operating system completely? I for one will wait for the RTM version to be released for testing before I make up my mind. It is however likely that I will buy the Ultimate edition of Windows 8 this time, if the professional edition ships without full Bitlocker support.