acquisition of Perceptive Pixel wasn't the only major
announcement made at the 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference. Tami
Reller from Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live Division shared
details about upcoming milestones for Windows 8 at the WPC in
Windows 8 will Release to Manufacturing (RTM) in the first week
of August, which means OEMs such as HP, Dell and Lenovo will get
complete access to the final release of Windows 8 at that time.
Volume-licensing business customers with Software Assurance can
also get their hands on Windows 8 in August.
Consumers will be able to shop for new Intel-based Windows 8 PCs
and ARM-based Windows RT tablets when Windows 8 reaches General
Availability (GA) by the end of October.
Given that the latest pre-release build of Windows 8, the
Release Preview, was made available on 31st May, neither
of the aforementioned time frames have come as much of a surprise
since they are closely in line with Windows 7's 2009 release
Last week Microsoft announced
a $39.99 offer for users who wish to upgrade their Windows 7,
Vista and XP machines to Windows 8 Pro with Media Center. Also, if
you've recently bought a Windows 7 PC, you can
upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99.
Microsoft has already said the launch date for its Surface
tablets will be around the time of Windows 8's GA for the
Windows RT version, plus another three months for the Windows 8 Pro
version. So now it's reasonable to expect that Surface for Windows
RT will launch in October 2012 and Surface for Windows 8 Pro will
launch in January 2013.
Windows Server 2012, developed in parallel with its client
counterpart, will also RTM in the first week of August but will
become available to customers a little earlier, in September. It
was also announced that Windows 8 will be launched across 231
markets in 109 languages.
Tami Reller also shared news about Windows 7, which is the
fastest- and highest-selling operating system in history, saying
that more than 630 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold and
that over 50% of enterprise desktops are now running Windows 7.
Image credit: Wikipedia/Microsoft