Up until now it was not really clear when Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 8 would hit the stores. We have seen lots of estimates in the past based on the tidbits that Microsoft revealed about the release process. Especially the announcement that it would be available three years after Windows 7 was helpful in this regard, as it allowed us to pinpoint the release period to the last quarter of 2012.
According to Microsoft's Tami Reller, the company will release the Windows 8 RTM in the first week of August, and the retail version at the end of October. This has just been announced at the Worldwide Partner conference in Toronto which is currently available as a Lifestream on the Digital Worldwide Partner Community website (please note that Microsoft Silverlight is required to watch the live footage).
A release in October 2012 basically means that Windows 8 will exactly be released three years after the release of Windows 7, which as we all knew has been made available in October 2009 for the very first time.
Existing Windows users from that moment on have until January 31, 2013 to take advantage of the upgrade promotion to upgrade their current version of the operating system to Windows 8 Pro. This offer is valid for all versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Differences exist in the data that users can migrate when they upgrade to Windows 8.
All users can migrate their personal files, while Vista and Windows 7 users can migrate operating system settings, and Windows 7 users installed applications.
A release in October, or the availability of devices running Windows 8 in October, ensures that the operating system will be available for the important holiday season. It also gives us a great opportunity to compare the popularity of the operating system with its predecessor Windows 7.
What are you going to do when Windows 8 comes out? Will you take advantage of the upgrade promotion?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.