At the annual worldwide partner conference organized by Microsoft Corp., its chief marketing officer and chief financial officer Tami Reller unveiled new details regarding Windows 8 and its general availability. For the first time, Microsoft confirmed plans to release next-gen operating system to manufacturing in August and make it available to consumers by the end of October.
Tami Reller confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to release to manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August. For enterprise customers with software assurance benefits, they will have full access to Windows 8 bits as early as August. Windows 8 will reach general availability by the end of October. This means that new Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs will be available for purchase or upgrade starting in October. Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.
In addition, the high-ranking executive at Microsoft said that so far more than 630 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold to date and that more than half of enterprise desktops today are running Windows 7.
Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will be available in three versions. Two versions will be designed for x86 processors and one will be aimed at ARM-powered systems. All three will support touch-screen, keyboard and mouse, all general capabilities of Windows and Metro-style apps. The version for ARM will also include touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, but will not run Windows applications designed for x86 processors.