According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft will be releasing a beta build of Windows 8 during the company's developer conference, BUILD, in September. According to her sources, Windows 8 will also be released to manufacturing on April 2012.
From what Mary Jo Foley is saying, Microsoft plans on releasing a beta build of Windows 8 during the BUILD developer conference. According to what she says, this will be the only beta build we will see. Microsoft has no plans to release any more betas. Around January of 2012, Microsoft will release a final release candidate of Windows 8 and after that, we will see a release to manufacturing.
Foley offered a few tips in regards to her claims. Apparently, the Windows 8 team is remaining quiet on a release date, saying that only the final version of Windows 8 would come 24 to 36 months after Windows 7. The team did not specify whether or not this was from the July 2009 RTM date or the October 2009 RTM launch date.
Foley also suggests that Microsoft has a buffer time of a few months ever since Windows 8 was announced and rumored for a summer 2012 release.
As of June 20th, the latest internal build of Windows 8 was 8030.0.110620-1742 (Milestone 3). Multiple branches of Windows 8 are being built off the winmain trunk. Microsoft is still facing a ton of bugs with their Windows 8 code as the company faces some big architectural changes to support the promised features. In fact, in these builds, we are seeing incomplete and untested code. Applications and features that worked in the past are now facing problems with user interface bugs. Microsoft is currently focusing all its efforts on making the new Windows 8 interface work as promised.
As we have seen from multiple screenshots and the Windows 8 introduction at the Computex and D9 conferences, the Windows 8 user interface is heavily influenced by Windows Phone 7's Metro UI. In fact, we are also expecting to see Xbox Live integration in Windows 8.