Windows 8, the forthcoming operating system (OS) from tech giant Microsoft, will be released in October; according to an announcement from the company.
Confirmation of the release was made by Windows CFO Tami Reller, at the Microsoft worldwide partner conference, who explained that the RTM version would be ready by August.
Those in the market for a PC or laptop now, who would be purchasing the current Windows 7 OS, can update to Windows 8 Pro upon release for a fee of just $14.99.
In a particularly grand statement, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, said the release of Windows 8 was a key component of the most important year in the company’s history; surpassing even the founding of the company or the launch of the PC.
"This year is really unparalleled," Ballmer said enthusiastically. "The core of Microsoft is reinventing itself for the modern era. It will be the best year ever."
The news was enhanced by the reveal that the first edition of the Microsoft Surface Tablet would also be released at this time. The ARM-based model will be released at the same time as the Windows 8 OS.
CEO Ballmer was perhaps less enthusiastic about the projected performance of the tablet in terms of sales. He explained that of the 375 million PCs he expected to ship with the latest OS, only 'a few million' copies would be running on the portable devices.
The announcement is to be followed by the reveal of the latest Office suite. A new version of the productivity suite has been expected and in the wake of Windows 8, the latest update could be heading our way sooner than later.