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Microsoft Corp. has announced the global availability of Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems as well as over 1000 certified PCs and tablets, including Microsoft Surface, which are set to be available for the launch of the OS. The new platform redefines Windows as we know it and creates a new eco-system that spans from smartphone to tablet to console to PC.

“We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs. Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

Bridging the Gaps

The main idea of Windows 8 is to open up new windows of opportunities by bridging different platforms and even markets with one major eco-system.  Windows 8 and Windows RT (which supports ARM) use the Metro user interface also utilized by Windows Phone 8 OS, which uses the same core technology as the PC operating systems. Metro user interface lacks the Start button and is generally a very controversial endeavor as it looks completely different from typical set of icons and is optimized for touch-based input on mobile devices, not for high-resolution monitors on desktops or notebooks.

In many ways Windows 8/Windows RT is a revolutionary platform that will bring many changes to the entire industry. However, at present, there are few significant advantages of the Windows 8 for consumers, and generally none for commercial users. The benefits of technologies introduced by Windows 8 will probably become fruitful only several years down the road. As a result, many will condemn the new operating system for the lack of common tools and plenty of unfamiliar things, just like it happened to Windows Vista. But the latter evolved into Windows 7, the least criticized operating system ever.

No matter how one perceives Windows 8 today, its technologies are here to stay. One user interface and a set of familiar functions across a wide spectrum of devices - this is what simply must exist in the new always-on-always-connected era. Therefore, some elements of Windows 8 may be just right, others - completely wrong. In any case, this is a step in the new direction.

Available Versions

Microsoft Windows 8 will be available in different versions and prices, initially with discounts:
 

  • Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit version OEM - $99.99
  • Windows 8 Pro 32-bit or 64-bit version OEM - $139.99
  • Windows 8 Pro Pack (product key only, upgrades Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro) - $69.99 (original price - $99.99)
  • Windows 8 Professional Upgrade (upgrades any Windows XP/Vista/7 PC to Windows 8 Pro) - $69.99 (original price - $199.99)

Microsoft has dropped full retail versions of its operating systems and therefore end-users will have to get OEM versions for personal use. The good news is that they are less expensive, the bad news is that they do not offer tech support.

  

It is noteworthy that upgrading to Windows 8 Pro from an older operating system will eventually cost more than getting a full Windows 8 Pro. Moreover, those, who definitely plan to migrate to Windows 8 Pro, can upgrade online via Windows.com using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant for just $39.99 from October 26, 2012, to January 31, 2013.

Windows 8, As It Is

Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will be available in three editions. All three will support  touch-screen, keyboard and mouse, all general capabilities of Windows and Metro-style apps.

  • For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors, Microsoft will offer Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 will include all the general features of Windows, updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly (which was previously only available in Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows). Windows 8 Pro is designed for tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals, it offers encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro.
  • For various devices running ARM microprocessors, Microsoft will offer Windows RT, which will 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 for download to upgrade existing PCs in more than 140 markets and 37 languages and at retail locations around the world. 

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows RT

Discussion

Comments currently: 17
Discussion started: 10/27/12 04:36:02 AM
Latest comment: 10/29/12 09:04:16 AM
Expand all threads | Collapse all threads

[1-6]

1. 
This OS is an abomination for desktops! Seriously!
9 1 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 10/27/12 04:36:02 AM]
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2. 
MSFT: Sell, sell, sell!!!
2 1 [Posted by: lol123  | Date: 10/27/12 04:49:02 AM]
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- collapse thread

 
M$FT:MONEY MONEY MONEY COPY APPLE COPY APPLE. NOW BURN M$ BURN.
1 3 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 10/27/12 09:27:51 AM]
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Exactly how Windows 8 is copying Apple?
Quit smoking crack.
1 1 [Posted by: jss8888  | Date: 10/28/12 10:25:05 AM]
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Windows 7 and 8 start menus and OS X find not to mention M$ is cashing in on the IPAD. Compared to the A6X the MICRO$**T SURFACE IS A PIECE OF GARBAGE. Apple A6X destroys NVIDIA TERGA 3 on EVERY BENCHMARK.
0 0 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 10/28/12 08:57:26 PM]
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3. 
show the post
0 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/27/12 10:30:23 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
People who do not use their Windows installation for any serious work usually cannot find a problem with the new Windows 8 UI.

Unfortunately for the rest of us that have no use for the Metro Madness we find it an irrelevant and annoying addition to the OS that we rather avoid.
4 0 [Posted by: mil7  | Date: 10/28/12 01:20:20 AM]
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show the post
0 4 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/28/12 05:03:14 AM]
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No its DOWNRIGHT STUPID. You aren't are power user nor do you care about aesthetics if you like Windows 8 because its F***ING UGLY and CLUNKY.
1 1 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 10/28/12 08:02:00 AM]
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Lol! You got at least one troll hook in there.
0 1 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/28/12 03:41:56 PM]
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Unfortunately for the rest of us that have no use for the Metro Madness we find it an irrelevant and annoying addition to the OS that we rather avoid.


While I agree with you that Metro is useless in the desktop and workstation use space. That hardly makes the ui irrelevant.

My 2 c's
0 0 [Posted by: veli05  | Date: 10/29/12 09:00:02 AM]
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4. 
Welcome to the NEXT VISTA FROM MICRO$OFT.
0 1 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 10/28/12 08:02:39 AM]
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5. 
Microsoft opens new windows... for tablets... they close old windows for desktops
4 0 [Posted by: DirectXtreme  | Date: 10/28/12 08:54:33 AM]
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- collapse thread

 
Their pretty much committing suicide with windows 8. Windows 8 IS THE NEW VISTA BUT unlike VISTA this MISTAKE WILL COST THEM DEARLY.
0 1 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 10/28/12 11:14:25 AM]
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6. 
Microsoft doesn't matter anymore, xbitlabs should start doing Linux articles too like Phoronix. Ubuntu 12.10 kicks Microsoft and Apple to the curb.
1 2 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 10/28/12 01:18:58 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
Linux is the future Micro$oft is falling because of Vista and Windows 8 being such failures. Apple is going down hill as well.
1 0 [Posted by: 123  | Date: 10/28/12 05:43:08 PM]
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When Linux has a as user friendly ui as Windows then and ONLY then will it be able to compete with Windows. No business will take Linux over windows for the general user and that is not going to change any time soon. Linux will be irrelevant until they can make their ui more user friendly, perfomance being the side issue for this debate.
1 0 [Posted by: veli05  | Date: 10/29/12 09:04:16 AM]
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[1-6]

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