Microsoft has refused to comment on reports that Windows 8, the next version of its operating system, will be available by October.
According to unnamed sources, cited by Bloomberg, the software giant has targeted October as the release date for Windows 8. Previously Microsoft had only committed to releasing the final builds of the operating system some time in 2012.
Microsoft declined to comment on the report.
Currently, Windows 8 is entering into its first beta testing builds. The company is offering the OS to users as a Consumer Preview download.
Windows 8, the first major Windows release since 2009's Windows 7, will bring an operating system designed to handle web-based applications and cloud computing platforms.
Among the features slated for the OS is the Metro interface. Metro will be a key piece of Microsoft's plan to bring Windows 8 onto tablet devices.
One of the company's key hardware partners, however, may not be very visible when the operating system launches.
Bloomberg reported Microsoft will limit the availability of ARM-powered tablets at the launch, citing strict quality control requirements for the devices.
The company said last month, it is in the final stages of optimising the OS for use on ARM hardware, a first for Windows.
A Microsoft spokesperson told V3 that the company had no comment on the likely availability of ARM hardware.
According to industry pundits, however, keeping a close eye on ARM systems could help the company maintain a better user experience with Windows 8.
"There is a rather big difference in user experience between the x86 and ARM based solutions and keeping the initial run small and focused better assures a positive customer experience than if they go broad," said Enderle Group principal analyst Rob Enderle.
"Apple clearly is the gold standard with regard to keeping variety down and even Google is being much more aggressive in terms of specifying hardware now to better ensure the user experience."
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