I can hardly wait to reimage all those new PCs with Windows 7.
Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said that its highly-anticipated Windows 8 operating system has been released to manufacturing. The software giant has completed the product development and testing of the product and has started handing off the final code to its OEM partners, who can now begin preparing new Windows 8 PCs and devices they will launch on October, 26, 2012.
The end-users will be able get Windows 8 starting on October 26th either by upgrading for $39.99 or on a new PC or device. If one buys an eligible Windows 7 PC today, then it will be possible to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 through the Windows upgrade offer.
In addition, Microsoft has a number of programs that provides various audiences early access to the Windows 8 RTM code to help prepare for Windows 8 as it enters the marketplace this fall:
- August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via MSDN subscriptions.
- August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through TechNet subscriptions.
- August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft software assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the volume license service center (VLSC), allowing to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within their organizations.
- August 16th: Microsoft partner network members will have access to Windows 8.
- August 20th: Microsoft action pack providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
- September 1st: Volume license customers without software assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft volume license resellers.
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.