Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8, is scheduled to be launched on October 26. According to a report published by CNET, the software giant has been training its employees about the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8, so that they can help customers pick the right version of the Surface tablet. One of the biggest differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 is that RT runs on ARM-based processors and isn’t compatible with older Windows software, whereas Windows 8 is powered by Intel chips giving it better performance along with the ability to run any Windows application.

According to a statement to CNET by Microsoft, “We are working to ensure our store teams provide a great experience to our customers purchasing Surface or a new Windows 8 PC.” The company continued, “We will be training our team members to ask qualifying questions to help determine their customers' needs and the best products to fill those needs and recommend the right device and by GA, store associates on average will have completed more than 15 hours of training on Windows and Surface.”

Enter the all new iPad killer (?)

Employees will help customers choose between Surfaces running RT and 8

Microsoft had recently released a TV Spot for its Surface tablet. Among the things shown in the video, there are developers talking about the metal they used for making the tablet. Microsoft had to pick the right metal so as to keep the tablet light, but also make it sturdy and durable. Another major topic of the video is the keyboard. According to Microsoft, the engineers had first said that the ultra-thin keyboard is just not possible, but the company managed to make a keyboard that turned out to be 1mm thinner than the original plans.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Microsoft is going to launch the Surface tablet on October 26. Microsoft had sent out invitations to a special 'Surface Reception' event held for launching the company's latest version of Windows, simply titled Windows 8.

This is the closest we have got to solid information about the date of this much awaited tablet finally making an appearance. According to a previous report, the prices of the Surface tablet will be $499 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only version, compared to $599 for the comparable version of Apple's iPad.

Though the major talking point of the event is the debut of the Surface tablet, rumours of a handset have been doing the rounds. This comes in the form of a smartphone with the Surface branding. Earlier this year, reports indicated that Microsoft may be building its own handset that will run on the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 platform. Microsoft did not confirm or deny the speculation, but a spokesperson stated that Microsoft, together with its hardware partners, was focussed on bringing Windows Phone 8 to the market this year. Adding fuel to these rumours, a report by BGR had indicated that Microsoft may launch its own Windows Phone 8 handset that could be launched within the next few months.

According to the BGR report, Microsoft aims to tackle the smartphone industry in a similar way to its attempts at a tablet. Microsoft is quietly working on its own smartphone that will be competing with high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5. This may be worrying to handset manufacturers as Microsoft will also be competing with the Windows Phone 8 smartphones by Nokia and Samsung. BGR's source informed it that the handset is in the late stage of development, and that it will be launched in the coming months. The report also indicates that much like their tablets, this smartphone too will be launched under the Surface brand name. As for the launch period, it is likely that the handset will be available by the first quarter of 2013.

While 2013 may still be a long way off to witness a Surface smartphone, October 26th isn’t and this is when we can see the Surface tablet finally being launched after months of waiting.

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