Microsoft recently started to firm the release dates to their selected partners in the ecosystem. After the company elected to do just one beta, Redmond giant is leaving extra time to prepare the ecosystem for launch. What started as a wild rumor is now gaining credibility.

Windows 8 is without any doubt the most pretentious and demanding software project of all times. The company is using same base to address smartphone, tablet, netbook, notebook, desktop, workstation, server and next-generation console space, supporting multiple binary-incompatible processor architectures at the same time. As such, vendors in ARM and X86 space need time to prepare for product release.

Coming this fall, Microsoft will release its only Beta version of the OS for all the supported architectures, including the delivery of initial 3rd generation Xbox prototypes carrying all the necessary software and performance-leveled hardware. The reason for single beta was the success of Alpha version – Microsoft’s partners got back to the company and reported favorable results. One of sources for this story claimed that "feedback shows we’re close to step we used to call Beta 1" Following the successful completion of the beta program, Microsoft plans to release the gold version to manufacturers by the end of April, 2012.

And here is where the split between current rumors and our sources happens – while some stories claimed that April RTM release means introduction in August for Back-to-School, our sources insist that the product introduction will happen only in October – targeting Holiday season with a product spread that plans to beat future iterations of Google Android/ChromeOS, HP’s webOS and the Apple iOS / OS X.

The only product based on Windows 8 core not being shipped in 2012 is the game console, targeting the introduction in mid-2013 for the Graduation season.