The initial Windows 8 Developer Preview launched all the way back in September, a full 10 months ago, giving the world plenty of time to become used to playing with Charms and navigating the touch-friendly Metro interface. For all our familiarity with Windows 8, however, there has been one crucial aspect that we haven't known: when the next-gen operating system will actually launch. Now we (mostly) do.
Speaking at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto this morning, company CFO Tami Reller told the crowd that the final version of Windows 8 is on track to be released to manufacturers during the first week in August, with the actual retail launch anticipated for sometime in the latter half of October. No specific date was mentioned.
That schedule fits neatly into the timeline that's been being touted by tech pundits and rumors for months now. Prior to today, Microsoft would only say that Windows 8 would be released in the second half of the year. Current Windows 7, XP and Vista users will be able to upgrade their PCs to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 for a limited time once the new operating system goes live. That price tag includes a free copy of Windows Media Center, which is slated to be a premium upgrade in Windows 8.