Labelled as the biggest reinvention of the Microsoft operating system since Windows 95, it has now been confirmed that Windows 8 will launch to the general public on October 26.
Earlier this month Microsoft indicated that the operating system would launch in October, but Steven Sinofsky revealed the specific date in a recent sales meeting, a claim that was later backed up by Windows communications manager, Brandon LeBlanc, in a company blog post.
The operating system will be Microsoft’s first to sit across desktops and tablets, as well as the first to support ARM-powered desktops and tablets (that version will be known as Windows RT), and will also run on the Surface - Microsoft's own brand tablet.
The OS will ship to manufacturers next month, while the general release of October 26 could ensure that the software arrives to market around the same time as the Surface tablet itself.
Microsoft announced the public beta of Office 15 earlier in the week, there is no doubt that the operating system is going to be key for the Redmond company, not least after it just reported its first quarterly loss in its history.
Owing largely to the company having to writedown $6.2 billion on the value of Aquantive, the online ad company it bought in 2007, Microsoft revealed a $492 million loss in the three months to the end of June. This compared to a profit of $5.9 billion at the same time last year, and represents Microsoft’s first loss since it joined the stock market way back in 1986.