Microsoft has announced that it will be going ahead with the release of the latest version of its best selling Windows OS, Windows 8 and the release date has been set for October 26.
News of the announcement came via a blog posting on the Windows website blog which reported that President of the Windows and Windows Live division at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, had announced the release date at a Microsoft annual sales meeting, confirming the release that had been hinted at the Microsoft Worldwide Partners Conference held earlier this month.
Anticipation for Windows 8 and Microsoft’s own tablet PC, the Surface has been riding high with the preview version that was released being received positively and now with the release date on the horizon, Microsoft could be in store for a very good year ahead with the company itself admitting that the new Windows was possibly the most important software redesign that the firm had done in over a decade and just as important as the release of Windows 95.
The new system software will be boasting a range of features geared towards the increasing popularity of the touch based systems. Windows 8 will come with its own touch based user interface known as Metro (the display bearing quite a resemblance to Windows Phone) but alternately can be used for desktops and laptops with a traditional interface.
As to features a new version of the web browser, Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer 10 will be offered with the new OS and a range of apps will also be offered such as a magazine reader, ‘People Cards’ that basically offer a snapshot of contacts as well as Microsoft Office integrated Skype and new Skydrive options. Windows 8 will be offered for the first time on ARM-based chips as well as x86-based ones designed by Intel and AMD.
Microsoft is pinning its hopes on the success of both Windows 8 and the Surface and the announcement of the Windows 8 release date came at an opportune time as it was done a day before the company was to announce its fourth quarter earnings reports which would be none to healthy as Microsoft’s acquisition of the online advertising service Aquantive did not pay up as expected and it is believed that this will offset earnings for the company by around $6.2 billion.
But analysts are expecting Microsoft’s upcoming releases to benefit the company as senior technology analyst at BGC Partners, Colin Gillis commented, "Microsoft's stock is up 17% since the start of the year in part because of anticipation for Windows 8 and Surface. We're also still seeing nearly one million PCs sold worldwide a day so that's a sizeable marketplace for them."