Microsoft has announced that the first Windows 8 tablets and PCs will hit stores on Friday, October 26, 2012. Steven Sinofsky, the President of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, announced the operating system’s release date at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting earlier today.
Windows 8 is a major milestone for Microsoft, representing the company’s first operating system designed specifically for touch devices like tablets. Previous versions of Windows were touch-capable, but they often suffered because the OS wasn’t designed with touch in mind. The Metro-style interface found in Windows 8 is an enormous leap forward, bringing together the best of what Microsoft has to offer.
Of course, if you already have a Windows-based tablet, you’ll be able to purchase an upgrade copy for just $15 on recently-acquired devices or $40 on older machines. The unanswered question on everyone’s mind, however, is whether or not the Microsoft Surface tablet will be released on launch day. The Intel-based version, known as the Surface Pro, is expected to be released 90 days after its ARM-based companion.