Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President Dan’l Lewin has provided a clue as to when the next version of Windows will hit the shelves, with indications showing that the last few months of next year is the planned for the OS to hit retail availability.

This comes as he was speaking at a startup event in Silicon Valley for the BUILD conference coming later this year in September.

Just as you were getting comfortable with Windows 7, it looks like Windows 8 is coming in the next two years. In a post celebrating the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 — the fastest selling OS in history — Microsoft’s Dutch Web site briefly mentioned the construction and release of its successor:

“Microsoft is on course for the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years before ‘Windows 8’ on the market.” grabbed and translated the post, and CNET took a screenshot of the text, which unsurprisingly disappeared shortly after the news stole headlines. Now Microsoft is back to being tight-lipped about Windows 8 and its expected release.

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Reports from last year suggested Microsoft was building a 128-bit version of its OS, which could very likely be Windows 8.

Windows 8 is due to bring a variety of changes to computer users, with the metro themed, refreshed Start menu as being one such change. So far, the renewed front-end look has been largely popular and may finally bring a unified look across all Microsoft products.

During his talk at the startup event, he also provided some insight into why tablets will be running the next version of Windows instead of the Windows Phone platform. The emphasis he claims, is on security for enterprise and the evolution of the consumer’s needs. Consumer now want PC features on a tablet, rather than compromising with a more mobile platform to fit the tablet environment.


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