Leaked Microsoft Roadmap Reveals Windows 8, Windows 9 Release Dates

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 2, 2011
Updated • Feb 19, 2014
Windows, Windows 8

All experts are fairly certain that Microsoft will release the Windows 8 operating system in 2012, as it was confirmed by Steve Ballmer back at the Microsoft Developer forum in Tokyo in May 2011. Only the month when the company first starts shipping it is highly discussed. The majority thinks that Microsoft will reveal the Windows 8 beta during CES 2012 in January.

A leaked roadmap suggests now the following Windows 8 timeline: Windows 8 and WinStore will be revealed as betas during the CES 2012 in January. January will also see a community technology preview of an online market and the first Tango update for Microsoft's Windows Phone.

According to the roadmap, the Windows 8 release candidate will be revealed during MIX 2012 which like last year will be held in April again. The very same month will see the beta of the online market, Tango2 launch, Apollo announcement and the release of the Kinect commercial SDK.

At E3 2012 in June, Microsoft will release the Windows 8 RTM (release to manufacturing) along the Xbox SDK, Apollo SDK and 3G Kinect games.

Windows 8 will finally ship two month later in August 2012 along with the online market, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox Store. Here are the details again in an overview:

  • September 13, 2011: Windows 8 Developer Preview
  • January, 2012: Windows 8 Beta
  • April, 2012: Windows 8 RC
  • June, 2012: Windows 8 RTM
  • August, 2012: Windows 8 Retail

The roadmap surprisingly does not end there. If you look further down the line you will notice several interesting release dates. Microsoft will for instance release Internet Explorer 11 during Mix 2013, Xbox Loop during the E3 2013 (the next Xbox version) and Windows 9 Developer Preview during Build 2013 (probably in September). The beta of Windows 9 is then revealed during CES 2013, the RC during Mix 2014, the RTM during Build 2014 and the final version in November 2014 along with Windows 9 Mobile and the Kinect HP2 launch.

  • CES 2014: Windows 9 Beta
  • Mix 2014: Windows 9 Release Candidate
  • Build 2014: Windows 9 RTM
  • November 2014: Windows 9 Release

It is interesting to see that Microsoft plans to release Windows 9 only two years after the company released Windows 8 to the public. Organizations, companies and individuals who know the release dates may be inclined to sit this one out and wait for the next release which is just around the corner. That is, if the roadmap is legit.

What's your take on the leaked roadmap? (thanks Venkat)


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  1. Gianni said on August 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I wonder if it’s true? we will tell Microsoft developers, often on Linkedin, read this http://www.ideageek.it/microsoft-e-luscita-windows-9-windows-blue-inext-eccetera/

  2. Paymun said on November 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    People need to relax about the new Metro UI. I am 100% sure there will be a toggle off feature implement in the final release. They want you to TEST the UI because it is a developer preview, and want feedback, they already know you like the Win7 UI which is the base for Win8 as well. I’ve been running win8 since it’s been out,other than compatibility problems with 1 or 2 apps, it is so much faster snappier and smoother and I don’t use the metro UI. I use a program called windows 8 blue poison to disable Metro. Again DONT WORRY there will be a toggle off Metro UI feature in the in final release of Win8.

    The boot up is superfast and I love it!

  3. Dan said on November 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I do see the value in the same Win8 kernel able to run on desktops, laptops and even ARM tablets. That’s where the Metro UI becomes useful. But the versatility is impressive. This should make apps and software installations and accessibility seamless and our overall experiences much better. (even if we do find a way to disable Metro on our desktops).

  4. Robert Palmar said on November 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    The faster roadmap is necessitated by tablets where Windows wants to be a player.
    With competing tablets refreshing their OS every year two years is almost too slow.

  5. Bob said on November 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve used Windows Phone Mango for a while now and I would assume the Windows 8 released to the public will look and act more like that then the development preview. Let’s face it, that was pretty plain and boring.

    That said, if you combine the elegance and beauty of Mango with the power of Windows 8, you start to see massive potential. Not only is this going to be the best OS on the market, it’s going to be quantum leap in OS design for everyone.

    The flat desktop littered with icons is about to go away, let’s celebrate.

  6. Visitor said on November 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    It seems that Windows 8 is slightly improved (e.g. USB 3.0) Windows 7 + a lot of bug fixes. So if you like Windows 7 it will be the best choice to use Windows 8 instead.

  7. Midnight said on November 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I’ll be skipping Windows 8, for sure and will see what 9 looks like!
    Not impressed with Metro UI, but it’s a good thing that it can be disabled!

    Never liked IE and never will, as Firefox blows it away, hands down!
    Microsoft needs to dump ActiveX and the sooner, the better!

    At the moment, Win 7 serves my purpose quite nicely, having tweaked it to my liking.

  8. Roman ShaRP said on November 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I’m totally skipping both Win8 and Winstore, so – I’m not touched by this news.

    In my not that polite opinion, every second MS’s big release is ‘experimental’, and doesn’t worth it – like Win Vista or Win 2k. Win7 is decent (because it is so close to XP), Metro UI s*cks, there is no point in Win 8 at all.

    1. fokka said on November 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      i cant say youre wrong but i can imagine that its a little different with win8 as long as you can disable the annoying, ugly, useless metro ui without losing all the small things which are improved. that would be great.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      I cannot be skipping Windows 8, but I probably will buy a laptop or something with it. If I would not run a tech news site, I’d definitely skip it.

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