Yesterday, Microsoft finally made an official announcement regarding the launch of Windows 8, confirming plans to have it on shelves starting with October 26th.
On that day, the new platform will become available for both new and existing computers, Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting.
Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed that the platform should reach the RTM milestone in the first week of August
, and that it was planned for general availability in October.
represents Microsoft’s new approach to computing, through delivering increased optimizations for use on tablet PCs that feature touch screens.
Moreover, the platform arrives with support for ARM architectures, and will arrive on shelves on October 26 on both devices powered by both x86 and ARM chips.
Windows 8 for ARM will be called Windows RT and will include about the same features as the full Windows 8 release, minus support for desktop applications.
Users will still be able to take advantage of a wide range of apps on their devices, but they will be Metro-style applications
, and will deliver a new experience when compared to already existing software.
Windows 8 on x86 devices, on the other hand, will offer support for both Metro-style and desktop applications.
Both on traditional PCs and new ones, such as tablets running the new platform, people will be able to install all the apps they used to have on Windows 7 computers.
With Windows 8
, Microsoft promises to change the way in which users look at their computers, though it would still offer support for traditional PCs, which use keyboard and mouse for input.
The platform is heavily connected to the cloud and also offers great social networking capabilities, including fast sharing of content and the like.
Many doubt Windows 8’s ability to become successful, mainly due to the heavy touch optimizations, which include a new start screen, among others, but Microsoft is confident that it will manage to attract a lot of users
on its side.
Starting with October 26th, existing Windows users will be offered the possibility to upgrade
to Windows 8 at discounted rates during a promotional period that will last until the end of January, 2013.
Also on that day, new tablets, laptops, ultrabooks and other devices running under Windows 8 will land on shelves, including Microsoft’s own Windows 8 slate, the Surface tablet.