Remember how Microsoft marketed the Windows 7 operating system back in 2008 before it was available on retail channels? Right, with a series of blog posts aimed at developers and end users a like, then the beta release followed by the release candidate and RTM version.

It appears as if Microsoft is intent do repeat the exact same steps that helped them create a buzz around the Windows 7 operating system. Steven Sinofsky today posted an introductory post on the new Building Windows 8 blog over at the MSDN website. While clearing aimed at developers and engineers, it is a great source of valuable information for end-users to find out more about the upcoming operating system.

If you look back at the Engineering Windows 7 blog, you will notice that it was established in August 2008, exactly 14 months before the RTM release of the operating system. It is surely no coincidence that Microsoft published the first Windows 8 blog post in August as well.

This could indicate that Microsoft intents to repeat the exact release cycle of Windows 7.

Probably the most interesting part of the – rather long – opening post is the hint that a pre-release version may be coming out in the next months.

We’ve been hard at work designing and building Windows 8, and today we want to begin an open dialog with those of you who will be trying out the pre-release version over the coming months.

There is no mentioning of a Windows 8 Beta, but since it is the public that is addressed by the blog post, it is fair to assume that Steven Sinofsky is speaking of the beta version of the operating system.

I’d also like to mention that the blog’s name is Building Windows 8 which is another strong indicator that Microsoft will stick to the development name of the operating system.

He also promised to start revealing features with the team in the coming weeks.

o in the next weeks we will just start talking specifics of features, since there is no obvious place to start given the varying perspectives. From fundamentals, to user interface, to hardware support, and more, if something is important to you, we promise we’ll get to it in some form or another.

The post itself does not reveal to much about the new Microsoft operating system.

I invite you to visit the Windows 8 site that I run with Everton where we, and other authors, post all the news we find about the new operating system.

As far as Windows 8 is concerned, we have just made another step towards the release of the operating system.

What’s your take on Microsoft’s public relations strategy?