It’s Official: Windows 8 Launches October 26

We’ve talked about Windows 8 several times. I’ve made it clear that I’m not a big fan of it, but today’s PC climate still dictates that chances are, Windows will be the operating system of choice for most people. I use it, you probably use it, and most businesses are using it. So if you don’t have Windows at home, you probably have it at the office.

Say what you will about that, but it’s clear the Microsoft has ownership of the majority of the world’s desktops. Will Windows 8 change that? It’s not likely, but it will change how a lot of us use it and some may finally abandon it entirely while others may see it as the greatest innovation to come to desktops since the graphical user interface (GUI) was first introduced.

Whatever the case, Windows 8 is coming on October 26.

Microsoft made the announcement last week. The new operating system (OS) will be preloaded on computers being sold starting on that date and will be available for exclusive update and install to current Windows users. Still no word on what it will cost to those who buy it from scratch to build their own PCs or install no corporate networks, but those details will likely be eked out over the coming weeks as MS attempts to continue building buzz for Win 8.

What does this mean for you?

Well, if you’re planning to buy a new PC this year and want to avoid the likely problems to come with any new release from Redmond, then you’ll want to purchase that computer before October 26. Many retailers, by the way, will likely have discounts and sales pre-release to unload their stock of non-8 machines, so you may be able to save some money.

Another option is to purchase any Windows 7 discs you can find on eBay or Craigslist or through your favorite computer store. Microsoft will continue supporting 7 for a few years yet, so you can install that on your machines and receive security updates. Honestly, Win 7 is one of the most stable and sleek of the Windows OS’s to date.

If you’re looking forward to the new Windows 8, however, and want to get it as soon as it’s available, you can do so through the upgrade channels at Microsoft.com. I detailed how that works in an article a little while ago, but basically current Windows users can upgrade for about $40 U.S.

What Else Is Coming?

Given the history of MS, the release of this new operating system will also likely mean the release of devices to go with it. So expect to see the Windows Surface PC/tablet released on or about that date and expect to see whatever smart phone makers that will be offering Win 8 phones to also release their products on or about that date.

Business users under volume license will see the final Windows 8 ready for them after October 26, says MS, but they haven’t been more detailed than that yet. Again, expect to see that mentioned in the coming weeks during the build-up to release.

Windows Studio 2012 and Server 2012 will also release on October 26.

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