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Windows 8 squeezed to fit 2012 Dell fondleslab?

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Will Microsoft deliver Windows 8 in time for OEMs to ship product in 2012?

Yes, according to some supposedly leaked Dell slides showing a roadmap that has a Dell tablet running Windows 8 arriving in January 2012. The tablet is codenamed Peju.

The Windows-8 device is almost an afterthought om a roadmap that's dominated by eight Android fondleslabs. There's just one other pony from the Redmond stable - a machine running Windows 7, due in May.

If these slides are genuine and Windows 8 is more than a slideware placeholder, then Microsoft is now at an advanced stage of engineering Windows 8.

So far, Microsoft is not talking about Windows 8, and there have been no signs of early builds, let alone betas or hints of release candidates for the successor to Windows 7.

As Business Insider's Matt Rosoff, a former Directions-on-Microsoft analyst, notes here, Windows 7 was a relatively simple OS to build in the wake of Windows Vista, but it took three years. According to leaked Microsoft slides, the company has grander plans for Windows 8.

These include development of an tablet form factor plus a radical shakeup in the way apps are built, delivered, and installed. Windows 8 will apparently use a model that marries XAML markup at the interface layer with a web store to deliver an Adobe AIR-like experience.

There is one way Microsoft could accelerate Windows 8: by delivering the promised ARM-based flavor for tablets and devices, as MJF points out. She has noted before that Microsoft is rumored to have Windows working on ARM, via the LongARM project.

Of course, the slides could be wrong. Or Dell could be leaking in an attempt to convince the web that it's got a lot going on.

Casting some doubt on the validity of the whole roadmap is the fact that it shows a Dell phone codenamed Wrigley running Windows Phone "next gen" in July. Last week, Microsoft said ts next update to Windows Phone would arrive in March, but the big step-change in Windows Phone is not due until late summer or autumn this year. ®

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