Dan'l Lewin, Microsoft's corporate vice president in charge of strategic and emerging business development, has given the strongest hint as to when the company's much awaited operating system, Windows 8, will be launched.
In a speech at the start-up LAUNCH event (opens in new tab) in Microsoft's own Silicon Valley campus, Lewin said that it will be roughly a year after its developer conference which is scheduled for later in 2011; Windows 8 Beta is therefore likely to be launched before the end of 2011.
Windows 8 will be the first Microsoft operating system for the better part of two decades to be launched simultaneously on multiple architectures with four versions aimed at ARM and two at x86 platforms.
Microsoft demoed the new, completely redesigned user interface of Windows 8, which looks a lot like Windows Phone 7 and ditches Aero, which was inherited by Windows 7 from Vista.
It has been engineered to natively support touch displays and may help bring to the desktop features commonly found in mobile ecosystems like energy efficiency and instant-on.
The OS is said to be even less demanding than Windows 7 when it comes to operating systems which means that one can expect an old Pentium 3 system with plenty of memory to run Windows 8 quite decently.