Windows 8 Release Date and downloads

If you're just getting used to Windows 7, then it may be time to pull out the diary and pencil in a date in 2012 for the upgrade to its successor, unsurprisingly codenamed Windows icon


Windows 8 will be released on July 2011, at only 2 years after 7.
Also Win7 Service pack 1 got a release date: beta in June 2010 and final SP1 in September.

At this moment most used windows versions are XP = 65%, Vista 20% and 7 with 10%

An ex-Microsoft employee appears to have leaked the release date for Windows 8 -- as well as Windows Server 2012 and Office 15. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers shun the iPad hype and imagine the free beta download within a year.

8 things you need to know about Windows 8

8 things you need to know about Windows 8

1. Windows 8 release date is late 2011 or early 2012

That's 2-3 years after Windows 7; leaving aside the aberration of Vista, that's the typical time between Windows releases and it matches up with the 2012 dates mentioned on leaked Windows Server timelines.

While Windows President Steven Sinofsky says he doesn't want to "underpromise and over-deliver" for Windows, it's likely that Microsoft will announce the later date and ship on the earlier one.

2. Everything we know comes from job ads and profiles - so we don't know much

It's impossible to say what will and won't be in Windows 8 at this stage because no-one knows; not even the Windows team.

The broad scenarios for Windows have been decided and all features will have to fit into one of those scenarios but the feature list isn't set. The final list of features will be locked down late in 2010, which is when we'll see the first public beta – and the first official details.

Remember that internally Microsoft uses 'Windows 8' to cover the server and desktop operating systems and many of the features gleaned from job adverts are server features like Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) storage technology and the File Server role.

If the rumoured 128-bit support is true, then it's 128-bit registers for processing data in Itanium servers.

3. Hibernate and resume will have a new engine

According to the profile of an intern on the Windows team, there's going to be a new Hibernate/Resume Integration API using what he calls "the new TLZ file compression engine". That could mean even faster hibernation and resume times – if it makes it into the final code.

4. Windows 8 will have new networking and security features

Another intern reports working on "new networking features"; that tells us about as much as the profile of the Software Security Engineer who's working on "Windows 8 security".

Changes in network security, authentication and encryption detailed in a Software Design Engineer's profile are again probably related to Windows Server. Another online resume mentions a possible "follow-on" to the PatchGuard system that stops viruses changing system files that was delayed from Windows 7.

5. Seadragon? Maybe

The team behind SeaDragon and the Deep Zoom feature in Silverlight is recruiting a Lead Developer but the ad only says they "want to take it" to Windows 8 (as well as Windows Mobile 7, XNA for Xbox and WPF for Vista and Windows 7).

6. Windows 8 will have better multimonitor support

Steven Sinofsky has already said there wasn't time to do more work on the user interface with multiple monitors but that it's on the list for Windows 8, not least because "we all use it at Microsoft". Expect scenarios for handling three or more screens, in various arrangements.

7. Windows 8 might run on ARM

Or at least the Windows kernel might run on the ARM and Qualcomm Snapdragon chips found inside smartphones, possibly using a hypervisor. That might not mean the full version of Windows 8 but it would enable a future mobile version of Windows that could run on much lower spec systems than current PCs.

8. Steven Sinofsky is in charge of it

This is both good – he was responsible for getting Windows 7 out on time and working well – and potentially very bad. Sinofsky's expertise is execution rather than vision and for Windows 8 that could mean a pedestrian set of improvements rather than anything potentially game changing.

Windows 7 is more than Vista done right, but it is an excellent execution of the Vista architecture changes. With Windows 7 to compete against, Windows 8 will need to be a lot more exciting than that.

Windows 8 Downloads:

Windows 8 Pro Theme:

Windows 8 Theme for Vista

You can download the Windows 8 theme for Vista here:
Download Windows 8 Professional Theme

Windows 8 7282 RC Theme:

Muffler also created some more themes inspired by Windows 8 (for Windows Vista SP1 x86):

Windows 8 Theme
Download Windows 8 Ultimate Theme

Windows 8 Superbar Theme

The Superbar works only for the bottom taskbar. The taskbar also has twice the size and you can preview any windows.

Windows 8 Theme Superbar Vista

Download Windows 8 Superbar Theme

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