There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Windows 8 lately, mainly because it’s shaping up to be a real contender for Apple’s iPad. Yes, the iPad 3 is already out and Windows 8 is still in its testing phase, but some who have tried it – and who know a thing or two about computers – have given the kind of positive feedback that makes people at least curious if not 100% sold on Microsoft’s new offering.

On April 24, 2012, at the Windows developer event in Tokyo, Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky announced that the Release Preview of Windows 8 is scheduled for “early June.” As you may recall, Microsoft released its consumer preview version of Windows 8 back in February 2012.

Windows 8 Server has now been officially named Windows Server 2012, whose release preview is also scheduled for “early June.”

Based on Windows 7’s schedule, Mary-Jo Foley of predicts that Windows 8 release to manufacturing (RTM) date will be sometime in late July or August and that the final product release will occur in October.

Whenever Microsoft decides to release the final version of Windows 8, you can bet there will be people out there who are eager to give it try. The ability to use it with standard desktop and laptop computers is a pretty strong selling point.