We can only speculate when Windows 8 will finally hit the stores. I assume that beta testing for Windows 8 could start in early 2012. If they did not show us anything at the CES it clearly means they have nothing to show yet – at least no fancy GUI that we’re expecting (possibly even a 3D desktop and improved touch-screen features).
It will also be interesting to see when they plan to release DirectX12 – could it possibly only run on Windows 8 due to some significant changes in Windows 8? To mention a few: A new file system, a new GUI, possibly cloud support, a new explorer. There are many changes that we can expect, some will be small others will be big. In fact, I think the gap between Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be larger than the gap between Windows Vista and Windows 7.