Microsoft backpedals from Ballmer's Windows 8 comments

One analyst, betting on late 2012, early 2013 release, says Microsoft has 'one chance' to get next version of Windows right

By Gregg Keizer
May 24, 2011 03:03 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft yesterday backed away from comments made by CEO Steve Ballmer, who had told Japanese software developers that the next version of Windows would be dubbed Windows 8, and that it would launch in 2012.

"It appears there was a misstatement," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement the company issued Monday afternoon. "We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows."

According to a transcript of his Monday speech made available by Microsoft, Ballmer said Monday that, "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."

Microsoft often keeps a tight lid on its products' names. In 2008, for instance, Microsoft didn't officially label the next edition as "Windows 7" until just weeks before it debuted an early build to developers, even though it had used that moniker for months as a code name.
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