It’s now official that the Windows 8 operating system will be commercially released in October 2012. The RTM version should be ready in the first week of August.
The secret is now out. Microsoft has used their Worldwide Partner Conference which is currently taking place in Toronto, Canada to officially announce that the commercial release of Windows 8 will take place in October 2012.
The RTM version (Release to Manufacturing) – which will be sent to manufacturers for integration into their devices – should also be ready in the first week of August. Consequently, devices equipped with Windows 8 will available in shops by the end of October.
Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, has also spoken to an auditorium full of their partners about their Surface tablet which will also hold a special place: "the importance of thousands of partners won’t be diminished".
In the coming 12 months, he states that the company is looking to sell 375 million new Windows computers. "We could sell a few million of the 375 million" of these devices as Surface devices.
Microsoft hasn’t yet unveiled the price of Windows 8 which will be available in three versions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT for ARM architecture hardware (pre-installed).
For consumers who purchase a new PC running Windows 7 between the 2nd of June and the 31st of January 2013, they will be able to update to Windows 8 Pro for 14.99 dollars (via download).
More recently, Microsoft unveiled an upgrade offer (until the 31st of January 2013) from Windows 7, Vista and XP to Windows 8 Pro. It will cost 39.99 dollars via download.
This promotion will help Microsoft with their big bet on Windows 8, with its ecosystem built around it with Metro style applications and the Cloud.