Windows 8 concept logoWith Microsoft tight-lipped about its schedule, a new rumor has emerged about Windows 8. According to the anonymous source, the operating system is set to reach RTM (Release To Manufacturer) as early as April 2012.

The early launch is viewed as the end of Windows 7, a well-received operating system who is still registering decent sales. However, Microsoft’s reasoning behind such a rushed launch is the fact that the company wants to enter the tablet market as soon as possible, currently dominated by Apple’s iPads as well as Android-based devices.

Windows 8 RTM Release Date

The source also added that Microsoft might be releasing a beta version for the BUILD Conference event,  which will be in mid September. In the meantime, the tech giant is still trying to gain more and more interest for the upcoming operating system, through tech demos as well as GUI presentations.

One such presentation showed consumers the revamping of the on-screen keyboard. Although Windows has had a keyboard like this since its early days, it was never really aimed at touchscreen users, but rather at the mobility-impaired individuals.

However, this revamping not only refocused the keyboard’s purpose, but also added a rather unique feature, which is the ability to “split” the on-screen input method into two pieces on each side extremities of the display, enabling, for example, tablet users to enter data at a faster rate. To top it off, the keyboard was also shown to have emoticon and auditive feedback support, not too different to the design displayed in Windows 7 Phone.

Windows 8 Home Screen

However, while the Windows 8 will primarily be aimed at tablets and other touchscreen compatible devices, it remains to be seen whether mainstream PC users will accept it. Sure, there are plenty netbooks and laptops that incorporate touchscreen capacity as well as pack a (technological) punch.

But it would seem rather risky to quickly rush out an operating system just to try and compete with current market owners. To have any chance at beating Android’s upcoming ICS or Apple’s iOS 5, Windows 8 will have to be incredibly good, not just exist.

Even though Windows 7 is selling well and driving revenue, Microsoft is set to push it out of the nest in a hurry to make room for Windows 8, a product that the company plans to use to push against the iPad, and other computing variants that are putting pressure on traditional computers.

Nonetheless, Microsoft is running a tight ship, without any leaks. All we can do is wait and see if the rumor is true about the launch schedule; if it is, then let us hope that Windows 8 will be brilliant.