ZD Net's Mary-Jo Foley claims Windows 8 may be released to manufacturing (RTM) in April 2012.
We also know from previous Office and Windows disclosure patterns that if/when the team does offer a target delivery date, there will likely be several months of padding built in to make sure there will be no publicly measurable slippage. As a result, I’m betting that summer 2012 RTM target we originally heard about might have included that padding, giving more credence to a real internal April 2012 RTM date.
That’s all I know, at this point. April sounds better than July, especially for partners and customers trying to hold out for Microsoft to deliver an operating system that will be optimized touch tablets. And if the April 2012 RTM target turns out to be reality, there will be no question about Microsoft and its OEMs being able to deliver Windows 8 PCs and tablets in time for holiday 2012. Heck, they’ll likely be ready for the back-to-school market, as well.