Microsoft has compiled a number of Milestone 2 builds recently. What this means is that Microsoft is ready for the final M2 build that will be distributed internally and externally to the company’s closest partners. Microsoft compiled a new build, 6.2.7947.0.winmain_win8m2_escrow.110218-1608 last Friday. This followed a number of Windows 8 builds over the past few weeks:
The Build stage M1, was finalized in early August 2010. Build stage M2 started in December, and should be finished in 2-3 weeks. Build Stage M3 should start sometime after that. The current schedule could mean we’ll see a Windows 8 beta in the Summer.
According to some recent reports, Microsoft may introduce Windows 8 ARM based tablets ahead of a full desktop release. Also, Microsoft’s tablet strategy may be further along than expected. If fact, Dell’s Tablet Roadmap revealed that they had marked Q1 2012 as its date for a Windows 8 based slate. Rumor has it that Microsoft has been working on an ARM based version of Windows for nearly a year and that it is laboring hard to bring this to the market as soon as possible. For slate applications, Microsoft is supposed to be making a major revamp, which will come in the next version, Windows 8.
For its part, Microsoft has so far been extremely quiet on the Windows 8 front. The only hint at developments came at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, and this was to introduce a technology preview of Microsoft’s Windows ARM support and show off an early build of Windows 8. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures like NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices. ARM support for Windows will allow for greater battery life, new form factors and hardware. Also, It is understood that Microsoft will feature deep cloud integration into the Windows 8 OS to realise its vision of “three screens and a cloud”. One rumor has it that Microsoft will create a dual-user interface for Windows 8. Also a tile based user interface called “Mosh” will also be included.