Windows 8 release date set for "late October"

Microsoft has finally confirmed that Windows 8 is on course for a launch this October. The date won't come as a surprise to anyone who's been following the development of the OS, as it's been widely expected that the but it has been made official at last. It will be almost exactly three years since its predecessor, Windows 7, hit the shelves, and two decades since the breakthrough Windows for Workgroups 3.1.

Speaking at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference last night, VP Rami Teller explaining that the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of the operating system will be made available during the first week of August. The RTM is equivalent to gaming 'gold' code, and its early release will give companies the chance to prepare systems running Windows 8 before launch date. Traditionally the RTM is also usually released to TechNet subscribers to try out for 90 days too.

Unless you fancy one of the new fangled touchscreen-o-matic tablet-cum-laptops that will be released with the operating system, like the Lenovo Yoga , don't let this news put you off upgrading. Microsoft has already released details of a scheme through which any new Windows 7 PC can be upgraded for £15 . What's more, if you're running the Windows 8 Preview version, you'll be able to upgrade to the full release for the same price .

It's not too much of a leap to assume that it means Microsoft's own Surface tablets will also be available from the same date.

(Via TechRadar )