Now that the build conference is situated firmly in the past, there are things that we now know, things that we know we don’t know, and things that we don’t know we don’t know. For example, we don’t know the release date of the OS. In the keynote, they committed to a beta and a release candidate, but no hints on timing for either. We can, however, guess when it might be based on what we already know. After spending some time hands on with the OS, I can say that it’s definitely not finished. The claim that “everything that works in 7 works in 8” is not true yet, as I’ve found some of our applications that use features that don’t work in this build. I’ve also had to go into the task manager to kill errant metro apps a few times, and run into UI strangeness like apps disappearing from the back stack when they are killed (which is sure to confuse users). Add to this the fact that everyone is going to need a lot of time to get the hang of developing metro apps, and I’d guess that RTM by next fall is possible, but even optimistic. A year from now we’ll definitely have a new build, and likely even the RC, but having an OS that’s ready to hit the shelves in October 2012 is probably not going to happen. Honestly, that’s fine with me-I’d rather the OS be complete than rushed, and should they be able to prove me wrong with a complete product before then, I’d be happy to take it.