During their annual sales meeting, Microsoft revealed that their upcoming Windows 8 operating system will be available to the public starting October 26. This could also mean that hardware running on the said operating system will follow suit.
Windows 8′s Imminent Launch
As previously reported, Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller made a promise that Windows 8 will hit the stores this October. On the other hand, the company’s Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky made good on this promise. The event was followed by an official blog post, which details the meeting and describes the upgrade tiers and purchasing options.
The upcoming OS will be available in 231 markets, and it will cover 109 languages once it is released. Existing users of Windows OS can upgrade to Windows 8 for $40. All PCs running on Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 can qualify for the upgrade, and users can also add Windows Media Center for free using the “add features” option.
Microsoft’s announcement yesterday also indicated that tablets, PCs, and Ultrabooks that run on the one-OS-for-all are also in tow, with the Surface tablet already on the line.
Meet the Surface Tablet
After it was announced last June, it looks like Microsoft’s Surface tablet will be the first Windows 8 tablet to roll out this October. It will also mark the company’s entry in the tablet market arena.
The device is a 10.6-inch, multi-touch tablet that features VaporMg enclosure, built-in stand, dual MIMO arrays, and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 display. The Surface tablet will come in two models: The Surface for Windows 8 Pro and Surface for Windows RT.
Surface for Windows 8 Pro weighs in at 1.9 lbs and is 13.5 mm thick. It runs on Intel Ivy Bridge i5 processor and features 1920 x 1080-pixel ClearType full HD display, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, and microSDXC card reader. On the other hand, Surface for Windows RT weighs in at 1.5 lbs and is 9.8 mm thick. It boasts 1280 x 720-pixel screen, USB 2.0, Micro HD video, and microSD slot. It also has a “perimeter venting” to handle the heat coming from the Intel chip.
It is unclear what features will make a difference between the two models, but Microsoft claims that Windows 8 is meant to reflect a “PC+” era. This means that all devices can run the same OS.