Windows 8 General Availability Confirmed: October 26, 2012

Windows 8 General Availability Date Microsoft has, finally, confirmed when Windows 8 – it’s next-generation version of the Windows operating system – will arrive: October 26, 2012. Previously, Microsoft said the OS would arrive in late October.

After being expected, and confirmed, for late October, Microsoft confirms that Windows 8 is landing October 26

Finally, the speculation over a release date can stop. Microsoft has confirmed Windows 8, its next-generation of the operating system, will have general availability from October 26, 2012. Previously Microsoft confirmed the operating system would arrive in late October.

It seems a little pointless, now, that Microsoft didn’t just announced the date straight away. At the annual sales meeting yesterday, Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky said the operating would reach general availability on October 26. The date means Microsoft avoid the claustrophobic November window, where the company has blockbuster games – namely Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – releasing in the opening weeks.

Microsoft previously unveiled upgrade offers for Windows 8: for $39.99 the OS can be bought digitally when upgrading from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, while you can upgrade from the same versions for $64.99 through a physical disc. Asus also announced a similar offer for users buying the company’s Windows 7 ultrabooks, but users get the operating system for free.

Microsoft Take Risks

The OS is a big bet for Microsoft, ushering in the Metro interface introduced on Zune and refined across Windows Phone and Xbox Live. It’s a radical departure from the desktop environment we’ve grown used to in previous versions of Windows, but a necessary move if Microsoft wants to make Metro popular on tablets — a market Apple has owned since introducing the iPad in 2009.

Microsoft is introducing an ARM and Pro version of Windows 8, with the former targeting mobile devices such as tablets. HP notably pulled out of developing for the feature-limited version of Windows 8 recently, citing customer needs but didn’t rule out developing for Windows 8 Pro. Chances are most companie will develop for the platform; more important is whether consumers will adopt the operating system. Metro hasn’t convinced some that it works with a keyboard and mouse, as the quick navigation between content – especially with the large, colorful tiles – seems optimized for touch input.


Published: Thursday, July 19th, 2012 Last Modified: July 19, 2012

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