NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Microsoft Corp. climbed Monday after a report that Windows 8 might come earlier than expected.THE SPARK: ZDNet's All About Microsoft blogger, Mary-Jo Foley, reported Monday that Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 8, might be released to manufacturers in April next year, well ahead of the expected fall release.Foley said the news came from a trusted but unnamed source. Microsoft of Redmond, Wash., had no immediate comment on the report. It has not provided a timeline for the release of Windows 8.THE ANALYSIS: Windows 8 is significant because it will be the first full-blown version of Windows that will be able to run on the non-Intel Corp. processors that go into today's tablet computers, like the iPad. That could help Microsoft catch up in this nascent market, which is starting to make a dent in PC sales.As Foley points out, an April release would let PC makers incorporate Windows 8 in next year's back-to-school computers.Adapting Windows to run on non-Intel processors is a big task. Third-party software would likely need to be modified as well.SHARE ACTION: Microsoft shares rose $1.11, or 4.6 percent, to $25.42 in afternoon trading.
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