Microsoft has just revealed that its next operating system Windows 8 will be available at the end of October 2012. News broke earlier today at the Worldwide Partner Conference when Tami Reller announced that first devices with the operating system would ship at that time. The Windows 8 RTM, the last step that still needs undertaking before the release of the final version is expected to be available in the first week of August.
Availability at the end of October means that Microsoft and its hardware partners will benefit from the Holiday season, which is the most important season of the year for obvious reasons.
One of the first devices that we can expect to see in October will be a Samsung Windows RT tablet, a version of the operating system optimized for ARM processors. This particular version of the operating system will ship with Microsoft Office, but is not capable of running regular desktop applications otherwise.
It will be interesting to see how the tablet fares against Microsoft’s own Surface tablet which may be released at around the same time.
It is likely that Microsoft’s Windows 8 Upgrade promotion will also start in October of 2012. We have reported earlier that Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users are all eligible to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. This is a very convenient way for consumers, as Microsoft has done away with upgrade limitations based on the Windows versions.
All Windows users pay $39.99 for the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, regardless of the version they have access to.
There is however a difference in upgrade procedure, as only Windows 7 users can migrate their installed applications, preferences and personal files during the upgrade. Vista users are limited to preferences and personal files, while XP users can only migrate their personal files and nothing else.