Here are some highlights from the article if you don’t want to read the whole thing:
When Will Windows 8 be Released?
According to the article, Microsoft currently plans to ship Windows 8 by mid-2012; thus, the first beta should be released by mid-2011 and public beta should follow by the end of 2011. Windows Server “8”/2012 is also being developed concurrently.
Windows 8 will likely support detection of which user just walked in the room so that it can automatically turn on your PC, log you in, and play your favorite music. When you get up and leave, Windows will automatically log your PC off for you.