Windows 8 to RTM in August, launch in October

The 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 Toronto, Canada.

Windows 8 Release Preview Start screen

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 cycle.

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

  Source: Blogging Windows · Windows Server Blog
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