Windows vice president Tami Reller announced the news at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto today.
“The wait is almost over," said Reller. "Windows 8 is on track to be released to manufacturing the first week in August and Windows 8 will reach general availability at the end of October."
Reller went onto confirm that anyone buying a PC today will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.95, but said that the software outright will cost $39.99, and also showed off a line of Windows 8 devices from Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Sony, including Lenovo’s convertible Yoga tablet.
The news means that Windows 8 looks set to go on sale at the same time as the Surface, Microsoft’s own brand tablet. However, that particular tablet will be the ARM-powered variation, with the Intel model not expected to launch until January 2013.
However, with potential tablet vendors not getting the final version of Windows 8 until August, it may well be that the Surface is the first Windows 8 tablet to hit retail stores.