From the looks of things, Google may have started something with its releasing of Chrome builds on a very regular basis. Though many disagree with the schedule, and the small progress between integral version number changes, there is no doubt that the progress is metered and measurable.

Now a story in an entry on gHacks, tells of a release from Microsoft Netherlands, and a date of exactly 3 years from the release of Windows 7 is quoted as Windows 8 debut date.

Microsoft Netherlands published a news story on their website on Friday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the release of Windows 7. Nothing surprising there one would think, except for the fact that the last paragraph of the article gave an outlook at the future, revealing the Windows 8 release date.

The interesting part of the article concerning Windows 8′s release date is the following:

Verder werkt Microsoft uiteraard aan de volgende versie van Windows. Maar het zal nog zo’n twee jaar duren voordat ‘Windows 8’ op de markt komt.

It basically means that Microsoft is working on the next version of Windows , and that it will take two more years (twee jaar) before Windows 8 will be officially released to the public.

Some will scoff at the news (and I might be one of them!) because Microsoft has far more years of releasing things late than on time. One might ask why, since they call the tune, they are almost invariably late, but only those closely tied to Redmond would have that knowledge, and I don’t believe I’ve ever read anyone’s accounting of why it is the case. I would certainly think that, after so many years of releases, the announcement would include enough padding that the last minute polish could be applied without much trouble just before the release – but that has almost never been the case.

In the case of Vista, the release date kept slipping, and features kept dropping, so that not much of the change given in early press releases was found in the shipping product. Windows 7 was a more modest release, and with the help of a huge open beta cycle, there was not too much disappointment at launch.

Perhaps that small change, and little disappointment is what Microsoft is looking for this next go round.

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Update – Over at AllVoices, there is an article with the documents leaked about Windows 8. The slides presented are very interesting, and provide a wealth of knowledge about how Microsoft sees its audience.

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What happens when the future has come and gone? – Robert Half

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