Microsoft today confirmed that its latest operating system, Windows 8, will be released to manufacturing partners in August, before moving to ‘general availability’ by the end of October.
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.