Windows 8 Release Date

Windows 8 is arguably to biggest technology release of the year and is set to change the way we use our computers forever. The date of its release has been subject to many a rumour, but confirmation has finally arrived: Microsoft Windows 8 will be released on 26 October 2012.

Following a successful Beta launch, the announcement of the release date was revealed by president of Microsoft’s Windows division, Steven Sinofsky at the company’s annual sales meeting. An announcement of an October date had previously been announced by Windows chief marketing officer Tami Reller at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2012, Reller also stated that the RTM date would be “early August”.

RTM is industry speak meaning release to manufacturing, which is the date when the finished product gets the go ahead to be pressed on to disk. Windows head man Brandon LeBlanc also stated in an official blog post that the RTM phase is when “we’ll be turning on the commerce platform so that developers can start earning money for their apps,” adding, “Of course, right now with the Windows 8 Release Preview, all apps are still free for people to try.”

The much-anticipated operating system that is designed for use on both tablets and PCs brings us a whole new touch-based interface that can be switched to a more traditional desktop interface as the user requires. The release date of 26 October 2012 applies to all major territories and Windows 8 will be available to consumers in stores, or as a downloadable upgrade.

New Versions

Windows 8 will only be made available by Microsoft in three different versions, two for Intel-based PCs and one for ARM-based tablet PCs, such as the new Microsoft Surface models that are also coming to market soon. The two PC versions of the OS will be called Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, while the tablet version is called Windows 8 RT.

The Microsoft Surface is expected to be released soon after Windows 8 has hit the market.

Pricing

So now we know that Windows 8 will be with us before Christmas, and in perfect time for the holiday shopping period, but how much is it going to cost?

Windows 8 upgrades will be offered by Microsoft for $39.99, or about £25. This price is for customers with an existing product and is an introductory offer lasting until 31 January 2013, after which time the price will increase.

If your computer is running Windows 7, XP, or Vista, you will able to bag yourself a download of Windows 8 Pro at the knockdown price, and receive the all new Windows Media Center for free.

Windows 8 is to be made available in 231 different markets across the world and in 109 languages. Microsoft has promised that the upgrade process will be made as easy as possible with both downloaded and physical copies of the OS and an assistant wizard will provide users with a step-by-step guide to installation.