writes with an excerpt from an Extreme Tech article on the Windows 8 release timeline: "...A Microsoft vice president announced that the Windows 8 beta would begin in late February 2012. The beta will be feature-complete and will allow developers to begin listing their apps in the Store. The timing of the beta is curious, and ultimately quite telling. ... The first public build of Windows 8 ... emerged in mid-September 2011; by the time the beta rolls around, it will have been ruminating for more than five months. If we follow the timeline forward — it took 10 months for Windows 7 to go from beta to public release — then it's possible that Windows 8 might arrive just in time for Black Friday 2012, or perhaps not in 2012 at all. Will its late arrival affect its chances of cutting out a swath of the tablet market from Apple and Android? Or will Windows 8 be different enough that it will do well, no matter when it arrives?"
In related news, an anonymous reader notes that IDC predicts Windows 8 will be irrelevant to the traditional PC market