Ballmer says to expect Windows 8 'next year'

Written by Paul Goodhead

May 24, 2011 // 11:20 a.m.

Tags: #2011 #2012 #7 #8 #announcement #microsoft #news #operating-system #steve-ballmer #windows #windows-8

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has confirmed that the company plans to release a ‘new generation’ of Windows next year.

The announcement came during a speech at a developer’s conference in Japan, during which the bombastic Ballmer also used the name Windows 8 publicly for the first time.

He explained that despite the success of Windows 7, Microsoft wasn’t resting on its laurels. ‘We’re obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows’ he said. ‘As we progress through the year, you ought to hear a lot about Windows 8.

Initially it seemed as though this announcement represented a change in tack from Microsoft, which had previously avoided using the name Windows 8.

However, a Microsoft spokesperson later told ZSNet that Ballmer mis-spoke, saying that ‘to date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows.

Ballmer also took a little time in his speech to attempt to explain Microsoft’s $8.5 billion purchase of Skype, saying that ‘the most fundamental thing we do is help people communicate, which is why we continue to drive forward with products like Outlook and Lync, and also, frankly, why we made the decision to acquire Skype.

Whether or not Microsoft can make any money out of Skype remains to be seen, although Ballmer pointed out that ‘Skype is the most popular software on the planet for people who want to do real-time video connection.

Are you looking forward to Windows 8, or are you likely to be sticking with Windows 7? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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