Grab Windows 8 Before World Ends in 2012

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No, you can’t put money down on a copy yet, but it looks like Windows 8’s a-comin’ sometime next year. So sayeth Microsoft doyen Steve Ballmer in remarks yesterday.

“As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8,” said Ballmer, addressing developers in Tokyo. “Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.”

How about an apocalypse-proof model, Steve? So we got off light with the Rapture. You know what Chaucer said about idleness. Surely Microsoft’s tracking the whole “end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar” thing? Haven’t they heard about the geomagnetic reversal that could trigger energy equivalent to “100 billion atomic bombs”? Where’s the Windows 8 feature that’ll protect me from that?

Don’t let that put you off Windows 7 in the meantime. According to Ballmer, the company expects to sell “over 350 million [Windows 7 PCs] this year.” 350 million…hmm. 350 million years ago the Earth experienced one of the largest mass extinctions of marine life ever. Coincidence?

But here’s the money quote: “And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there’s a whole lot more coming,” said Ballmer.

Okay, so he didn’t actually say “Windows 8.” You know. Because Microsoft’s “next generation of Windows systems” is secretly something called “Windows 7-dot-5.”

Other stuff upcoming, says Ballmer: a Windows Phone with “500 new features.” I’m sure there’s some eschatological significance there, too. Maybe 500’s the number that triggers a plague of Android- and iPhone-devouring locusts or something.

(Full transcript of the Microsoft Developer Forum remarks, May 23rd)