Microsoft Windows 8 will be released in 2012 - reports

Microsoft Windows 8, the next version of the company's flagship operating system, will be released in the next two years, according to reports.

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Microsoft Windows 8, the next version of the company's flagship operating system, will be released in the next two years, according to reports.

In a post celebrating the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 - the fastest selling OS in history - Microsoft's Dutch Web site briefly mentioned the construction and release of its successor.

"Microsoft is on course for the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years before 'Windows 8' [is] on the market," it said.

The Winrumors.com site grabbed and translated the post, and CNET took a screenshot of the text, which disappeared shortly after the news stole headlines. Microsoft declined to say more about Windows 8 and its expected release.

Reports from last year suggested Microsoft was building a 128-bit version of its OS, which could very likely be Windows 8.

More recently, NetworkWorld acquired more than 15 confidential slide decks detailing possible additions, including body-sensing features similar to the Xbox Kinect, a desktop app store like Apple's forthcoming Mac App Store, near-instant CPU booting, and a focus on powering tablets.

By the time Windows 8 supposedly drops, Microsoft is going to have Apple's latest OS to contend with. Apple just gave a sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion - called a marriage of OS X and Apple's mobile iOS - that includes some features like a desktop app store, advanced multitouch gestures, and more.

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