At a developers conference in Japan on May 23, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer referred to the Windows vNext as the "Windows 8," and that the next generation of Windows operating systems will be out next year.
Here's the transcript of what Ballmer said in Tokyo about Windows 8:
We're obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows. Windows 7 PCs will sell over 350 million units this year. We've done a lot in Windows 7 to improve customer satisfaction. We have a brand new user interface. We've added touch, and ink, and speech. And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there's a whole lot more coming. As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.
It's interesting he called out Windows 8 slates and tablets as two separate form factors.
Steven Sinofsky, head of Windows, due to speak at next week's AllThingsD conference, where many are expecting him to show off an internal build of Windows 8.
Microsoft's expected to provide testers with a first tech preview or beta of Windows 8 in mid-September during the company's developer conference in Anaheim, Calif.
The rumored release-to-manufacturing date of Windows 8 is mid-2012, with holiday 2012 retail availability targeted.
[Via: All About Microsoft]