Microsoft to Focus on Windows 8 Starting July '10
Moving from 7 to 8 during 07/2010.
Ars Technica dug through all the Windows 8-related job postings for Microsoft throughout November and found positions open for Software Engineer: Test, Software Engineering: Development, Software Engineering: Project Management, and Sr. Manager, Partner Skills Development - Launch Lead.
One of the more interesting bits comes in the description for the last position, which reads:
Job Purpose/Overview: Do you want to help ready the entire partner ecosystem on all the new Microsoft products and solutions? The Partner Skills Development Team is looking for a senior thought leader and skilled project/product manager to ensure the health of the partner ecosystem through the strategic evolution skills development framework (and its execution) for upcoming Microsoft product launches. For example, in Fy10, the focus will be on Windows Server R2, SQL Server R2, and Wave 14 (Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, and Exchange 2010) and, as we head into Fy11, the focus will quickly switch to Windows 8. In this role you will lead the execution of partner skills development BOMs - by partner type for the entire partner ecosystem - on a WW basis. This role with interact with and influence individuals from across Microsoft, including individuals within the Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft Learning, SMSGR, the product groups (BGs), Operations, and partner segment teams with SMSG. [Emphasis added.]
Microsoft's fiscal year begins in July, so fiscal year 2011 means July 2010. Given that Microsoft has revealed plans to release Windows 8 in 2012, changing focus to the next operating system two years before launch seems sensible.