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Microsoft confirms Windows 8 OS release in October

Microsoft's latest operating system (OS), Windows 8, will be released to manufacturing in August, with full release due three months later

Microsoft has confirmed its Windows 8 operating system (OS) will launch in October.

The announcement was made at the company’s worldwide partner conference by Windows CFO Tami Reller

Reller also confirmed the RTM version of the OS would be ready for August.

For those looking to buy a PC or laptop running the current Windows 7 OS, Reller confirmed they would be able to update to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said the OS was a key part of what he called the most important year for Microsoft, beating even the founding of the company or the launch of the PC.

“This year is really unparalleled,” Ballmer said. “The core of Microsoft is reinventing itself for the modern era. It will be the best year ever.”

The launch date also revealed when the first Microsoft Surface tablet will hit the shelves, as the ARM-based model is set to be released at the same time Windows 8 goes to market.

However, Ballmer didn’t make any huge predictions for tablet sales, claiming that, of the 375 million PCs he expected to ship with the latest OS, only “a few million” copies would be running on the portable devices.

Focus has now turned to the Office announcement due tonight, which is likely to be an updated version of the productivity suite.

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