Ballmer: Next Generation of Windows is Coming 2012; Microsoft Confusingly Says It's Not Windows 8

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was speaking at a developer forum event in Japan and made an open mention about "Windows 8," marking perhaps the first time he's publically referred to the next OS with that name.

Microsoft's own transcript that's published on its PressPass site quoted Ballmer saying:

“We’re obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows. Windows 7 PCs will sell over 350 million units this year. We’ve done a lot in Windows 7 to improve customer satisfaction. We have a brand new user interface. We’ve added touch, and ink, and speech. And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there’s a whole lot more coming. As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.”

At first glance, it appears that Ballmer just confirmed that Windows 8 will be coming out in 2012, but a representative from the company later issued a correction to ZDNet. It read:

“It appears there was a misstatement. We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows.”

Essentially, a Microsoft spokesperson just nullified any interesting "Windows 8" news from what Ballmer said. Still, it's hard to believe that Ballmer would misstate what the next version of Windows will be called, seeing that he is the CEO.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • macewrox
    Eh, I would enjoy something clever, like Windows Vista ME.

    It's loading screen is the blue screen of death.
  • spammit
    I hope it's not 2012; I feel like it would be too soon. Some people have barely started using Windows 7 and others haven't even migrated yet (which may not be such a bad thing for Windows 8). I feel that releasing it this early will just cause confusion and frustration among plenty of people as most people think Windows 7 just came out (which, really, it did)
  • verbalizer
    it's all games and propaganda.
    greedy MS bastards.
    he's probably speaking on the mobile department and/or the on-going battle about ARM.
    still I refuse to pay for MS if I can..
  • extremepcs
    I heard that they are releasing it on December 21, 2012. :)
  • pug_s
    Windows 7 r2 cloud arm?
  • erichoyt
    Wouldn't this really just be another update to the Vista structure? Win7 is regarded as a service pack update to that architecture? So, Ballmer was just highlighting another update to this package, not another new platform? Confusing either way....
  • pkellmey
    I think the versioning issue has already been addressed earlier this year when they announced Windows 7.5 (Windows 7 with big Service Pack changes) releasing early next year.
  • virtualban
    Unrelated, mostly, but funny thread:
    With the title: Proof GlaDOS is a Microsoft Product
    Which brings the question of what is called the next next MS product, since it's not windows 8 the title says.
  • house70
    I wish Ballmer would just shut up and went back to what he does best, which is.....
    BTW, what is it that he does best? Oh yes, enjoying the taste of his foot.
    This dude has done nothing original/positive for MS since he took charge. I think he does not understand the company he's running. Maybe Gates could look into replacing him. Miss the good old days.
  • clonazepam
    Windows Maya
    Windows ARMageddon
    Windows Octagon
    Windows Octopussy
    Windows 008
    Windows Pane