Microsoft Corp. said this week that the Windows 8 operating system will become officially available on Friday, the 26th of October, 2012. Earlier this month the software giant said that Windows 8 would be generally available in October, while some enterprises will get it in August. Now everyone has a specific date to mark on their calendars.
The next-generation operating system from Microsoft will be available almost exactly three years after the world's largest software developer launched its Windows 7 (October 22, 2009) and nearly exactly eleven years after it launched the legendary Windows XP (October 25, 2001). The launch of Windows 8 with controversial touchscreen-optimized user interface is expected to mark a new era both for Microsoft and the industry.
At the annual worldwide partner conference organized by Microsoft Corp., its chief marketing officer and chief financial officer 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 on October 26, 2012. This means that new Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs will be available for purchase or upgrade starting from late October.
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. Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.