The Windows 8 BUILD keynote yesterday was very impressive, but release timing is a pivotal variable:
One crucial question that remains unanswered is when devices running Windows 8 will be available for customers. In a speech at a technical conference here, Mr. Sinofsky didn't commit to a release date and said that quality concerns, rather than deadlines, will determine when Microsoft ships the software. Microsoft has said in the past that it aims to release a new operating system about every three years, which suggests Windows 8 could come out by fall 2012.
That gives Apple a significant amount of time to make further inroads with the iPad, the tablet device that some analysts believe has begun to sap growth from the traditional PC business. "I think Apple has another year to run flat out," said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research.