Anonymous sources confided to Bloomberg that Microsoft plans to finish Windows 8 this summer, and that the launch date is set for October. The launch of the ARM edition of Windows 8 will be quite small, the news agency heard there will be fewer than five ARM devices available at launch, compared with more than 40 Intel-based machines.
The initial rollout will include devices running Intel Corp. (INTC) and ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) chips, making good on Microsoft’s promise to support both standards, said the people, who declined to be named because the plans are confidential. In embracing ARM technology, Microsoft is using the same kind of processors as Apple Inc.’s iPad. Still, there will be fewer than five ARM devices in the debut, compared with more than 40 Intel machines.
The timing would let Microsoft target Christmas shoppers with the new software, which works with touch-screen devices as well as laptops and desktop PCs. The Redmond, Washington-based company, which hasn’t announced timing for the Windows 8 release, aims to take back sales lost to the iPad and reinvigorate the sluggish PC market. Apple (AAPL) released the third version of the iPad this month, posing an even stiffer challenge to Microsoft.