Lately it seems all the talk, when it comes to operating systems, is about iPad versus Android. Windows has become a distant afterthought. Especially when it comes to anything with a touchscreen.

That may change this fall. Rumors are rampant on the Internet today that Microsoft will wrap up the production of Windows 8 this summer and have it ready for delivery by October, 2012.

The October date would be critical if Microsoft wants it launched before the 2012 holiday season. And of course, they don’t want just the software to be available by the holidays. The money will be in having devices running W8 ready to be purchased by the time holiday shopping gets rolling. Time is of the essence.

Bloomberg appears to be the first one with inroads into this story. Their unnamed sources said that Microsoft will detail its release strategy, timing, and marketing plan, to industry partners in April.

Windows 8 is said to be a catch-all of an operating system, it will work on smart phones, tablets, ultrabooks, laptops, and desktop computers. It will work with touchscreens or regular desktop monitors. Windows 8 will also be compatible with not just Intel chips, but also ARM processors.

We’ll keep an eye on this story and report as development come in.