Microsoft officially launched the new Windows 8 Operating System today in New York, with global availability beginning tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 26.
Consumers and businesses worldwide will be able purchase more than 1,000 certified PCs and tablets, including the highly-touted Microsoft Surface.
“We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love.”
Microsoft’s Press Release of the event continued;
Windows 8 will be available for download to upgrade existing PCs in more than 140 markets and 37 languages at http://www.windows.com/buy beginning at 12:01 a.m. local time and at retail locations around the world. At retail, Windows 8 will be available in two primary versions — Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro — as well as Windows 8 Enterprise for large organizations.
Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family — Windows RT — designed for ARM-based tablets and available pre-installed on new devices. In addition to Microsoft Office 2013, Windows RT is designed exclusively for apps in the new Windows Store. Windows 8 features the new fast and fluid Start screen that gives people one-click access to the apps and content they care most about. It also features an entirely new Internet Explorer 10 that is perfect for touch, and built-in cloud capabilities with SkyDrive.
Users can upgrade their current PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$39.99.
Eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2013 can download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$14.99 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com.