Though we had a fair idea when Microsoft was going to release Windows 8 to the general audience, there was no specific date apparent. A prior report had indicated that Microsoft was scheduled to release Windows 8 by October and this latest information by The Windows Blog has fine tuned the release to a day. Those eager to get their hands on the next big Windows upgrade, should mark the 26th of October on their calendar, as this is the day it will be released to the general audience.

As per the post The Windows Blog, the author Brandon LeBlanc has stated, “October 26th, 2012! That’s right! Just a few minutes ago, Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on October 26th. Earlier this month at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Tami Reller told attendees Windows 8 would be available in October. But now everyone has a specific date to mark on their calendars. It’s on mine!”

Mark your calendars

Mark your calendars

If you're itching to get your hands on the latest version of Windows, now would be a good time as Microsoft recently announced that they will be offering Windows 8 Pro for $39.99, as part of a promotional scheme. This offer is up for grabs up to the 31st of January, 2013 and will be available in 131 markets. What may come as even better news is that it is not only PCs running Windows 7 that will be eligible for this offer, but also users who have Windows Vista and XP. Microsoft has not just stopped there; they have also stated that users can even add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after the upgrade procedure.

Microsoft has also provided details on the upgrading process and has said that when one uses to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant makes the procedure simple by offering a walk through the upgrade process, which is a step-by-step process from purchase to download and then installation. They state that the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will check to make sure a user’s PC is ready for Windows 8. It will then provide a detailed compatibility report that lets a user know of anything that he may have to address before or after the upgrade and outlines the actions to take.

Apart from that it will also inform a user of any application or device compatibility issues. It will then ask the user what they want to keep from their current Windows installation. A user will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro and bring everything along, which includes their Windows settings, personal files, and apps. If a user is upgrading from Windows Vista, they will be able to bring along their Windows settings and personal files, and if one is upgrading from Windows XP they will only be able to bring along their personal files. They go on to add that, if a user wants a fresh start, then they can choose to bring nothing along. Or if they prefer to format their hard drive as part of their upgrade experience, they can do so for as long as they boot from media and then format their hard drive from within the set-up experience for installing Windows 8, but not prior to it.

Earlier this month, speaking at Microsoft's recently-held Worldwide Partner Conference, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller said that Windows 8 is going to reach the general audience by this October. This also means that the Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs will be available for purchase and upgrades starting this October. She went on to mention that Windows 8 is going to be available in 109 languages across 231 markets across the world.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,