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Microsoft Corp. may release Windows 8 to manufacturing as early as in April, 2012. The software giant reportdely wants to RTM all three flavours of Windows - for x86 clients, for servers and for ARM clients - at the same time.

Based on recent market chatter heard by Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet, Microsoft’s goal with Windows 8 was to release to manufacturing (RTM) its next Windows release around Q2/Q3 2012; moreover, another source reportedly indicated that Microsoft is on track to RTM all Windows 8 versions by April 2012. Naturally, the second rumour confirms the first one: the lag between RTM and launch is about several months.

The 2012 release date for Windows 8 is nothing new and has existed for several years, only conservative officials from Microsoft usually deny that the company had ever set official timeframes for Windows 8 release. In face even chief exec of Microsoft recently said that the new OS was due in 2012.

Microsoft Windows 8 is pretty successful on desktops and notebooks, but when it comes to tablets, the operating system turns out to be behind a lot of rivals from various companies. In addition, PC makers are awaiting a breakthrough from Microsoft in order to kick-start the slowing market of personal computers in well-developed countries. Releasing various versions of Windows 8 makes a lot of sense, as this creates a lot of hype around the brand itself and those, who will get one type of Win8, may want to try the other too.

What we do know from the unofficial sources is that the creation of the third (M3) milestone phase was supposed to be started in March, 2011. After the M3 is finished, Microsoft is expected to release community technology preview (CTP) version, public Beta-1 and Beta-2, then unveil a release candidate (RC) and after that assemble the final version sometimes in 2012.

Microsoft did not comment on the story.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, x86

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