Microsoft has announced an official release date for Windows 8 at the firm’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference.
At the event in Canada, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller made the revelation that Windows 8 (and Windows RT, the version for ARM powered devices) will be unleashed on the general public before October is out.
The operating system was also confirmed as being on track for RTM (Release to Manufacturing) in the first week of August, so that milestone is just a few weeks away now.
The RTM version being loosed will be coupled with the big switch on of the commerce platform for the OS, meaning that developers will be able to start flogging their apps and seeing the cash begin to roll in.
Windows 8 will be distributed across no less than 231 countries, and in 109 languages.
In a press statement, Microsoft also had a quick boast about the success of Windows 7, noting that it was the best-selling operating system ever, with more than 630 million licenses sold thus far.
Windows 8, of course, represents a big switch for the company, fully embracing the touchscreen and tablet world, with the OS designed to span slates, all-in-one PCs and traditional desktop PCs – while tying in with Windows Phone 8 in terms of the look and feel of the interface.
Of course, the release of Windows 8 and RT also means the release of the Surface tablet – or the cheapest ARM powered version, running the RT flavour, that is. As Microsoft previously promised the slate would be out at the same time as Windows RT.
That wasn’t confirmed at the event, though, but we expect the timing will still run as planned. Rumours indicate Samsung will produce the first Win 8 tablet, and it should launch in October.