The software giant has a lot riding on the next major iteration of its flagship operating system, Windows 8, most notably its tablet prospects. Windows 8 represents a lot of Microsoft's mobile strategy, as future versions of Windows Phone will probably take many cues and technical features from its tablet- and PC-bound brethren.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, the company is scheduled to put the finishing touches on Windows 8 by summer, with a planned debut in October. Mr. Softy is looking for an aggressive global rollout with devices running both Intel
Microsoft hasn't made any official announcements on Windows 8's release schedule, but it was already widely expected by year's end. Bloomberg cites the October timing to a standardly vague "people with knowledge of the schedule." It's particularly credible since Microsoft needs to get its tablet strategy off the ground.
If Microsoft gets hit with delays or holdups, it's going to miss the important holiday season, and an early 2013 release would put it almost head-to-head with when Apple
Android 5.0 Jelly Bean will also probably see a fall release to compete with Windows 8. I still happen to think Windows 8 will eat Android's tablet lunch, since Android's overall tablet performance has been mostly underwhelming thus far.
As usual, Microsoft is late to the mobile party. Windows 8 has a lot of lost time to make up.
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