Software // Operating Systems
08:58 AM

Windows 8 Launch Date Revealed

Microsoft announces a definitive date for the arrival of tablets and PCs running its new, touch-friendly OS.

Windows 8 Preview: Key Features
Windows 8 Preview: Key Features
(click image for slideshow)
Microsoft on Wednesday for the first time revealed the precise launch date for its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

The OS will be released to manufacturing in the first week of August, and new systems running the software will be generally available to the public on October 26. The news was announced by Windows group president Steven Sinofsky during Microsoft's annual sales meeting.

Enterprises won't have to wait until Halloween. Microsoft previously said they'll be able to start downloading final Windows 8 bits as early as August.

The new operating system will be available in just four editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows 8 RT. The last is Microsoft's official name for Windows On ARM, which will run on tablet chips manufactured by Qualcomm, Motorola, and Nvidia, as well as Redmond's own Surface tablet.

By comparison, Windows 7 was available in six editions, including Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise.

[ Want the new version of Microsoft Office? You may need to upgrade your operating system, too. See Office 2013 Won't Run On Windows XP, Vista. ]

Users of Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows Vista will be able to purchase and download Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99. The program, which starts with Windows 8's general availability in October and runs through January 31, 2013, also lets users install Windows Media Center for free once they've completed the upgrade.

The upgrade experience will differ depending on which version of Windows users are currently running.

Windows 7 to Windows 8 offers the most seamless upgrade, as users' settings, personal files, and apps will remain intact. From Windows Vista, settings and personal files are preserved, and from XP, only personal files will make the jump, although apps can be reinstalled after the upgrade is complete.

Windows 8 represents the biggest break with previous versions since the debut of Windows 95, which introduced the Start button, Task Bar, and other Windows staples. Windows 8 replaces the Start screen with Live Tiles, part of Microsoft's new Metro interface.

Microsoft is counting on Metro to give its products a consistent look and feel across smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

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User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2012 | 1:30:17 PM
re: Windows 8 Launch Date Revealed
I agree that the Enterprise uptake will be slow. Win8 is yet another paradigm shift. And, one that is coming on the heals of a current migration to Win7. I think business is more prone to slow uptake, not so much due directly to Vista, but more due to the fact that they have to retool "everything" during an upgrade... not just the OS.

In the vast majority of cases, IT is still not viewed as a strategic or tactical weapon for winning the war in business. That view is changing... but ever so slowly.
Andrew Hornback
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2012 | 2:38:12 AM
re: Windows 8 Launch Date Revealed
Wow - just in time for Halloween.

Trick or treat?

I figure most enterprises won't be migrating to Windows 8 until 2015 or so, especially based on the levels of adoption that I've seen of Windows 7 thus far. Seems that Vista really threw a wrench in the upgrade timeline for most organizations and a lot of them haven't fully recovered to Microsoft's tempo just yet.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
User Rank: Apprentice
7/19/2012 | 2:46:29 PM
re: Windows 8 Launch Date Revealed
General Keith B. Alexander of the NSA and Cyber Warfare (24th Airforce) and his Flame/Stuxnet/Doku viruses for Windows has rendered Windows 8 obsolete and insecure before its official release. Use Linux, just like the NSA and Keith B. Alexander, the number one Windows Killer.

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