The official Windows Blog reports that Windows 8 will launch on October 26, 2012. That means consumers still have around three months left to test-drive the Release Preview to see if the revamped OS is right for them.
The news follows a recent statement made at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference by Tami Reller. Reller told attendees that Windows 8 would be available in October, however, this time the set date was revealed by Steven Sinofsky during Microsoft’s annual sales meeting on Wednesday.
For a limited time, those upgrading from an older version of Windows will be required to pay only $39.99. Those who purchase a brand new Windows 7 computer after June 2 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for a mere $15. Want to purchase a backup DVD from Microsoft? That will cost $15 bucks plus shipping and handling.
Don't want to take the online route? A packaged DVD version of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro will be available for $69.99 during the launch promotion. Both the online and offline upgrade promotion will end on January 31, 2013.
"We believe that your upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze by offering a faster experience, a single upgrade path, and compatibility from prior versions of Windows," said Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc. "We’ve continued to listen to our customers and have expanded the ability to download to over 100 countries and 37 languages.
"We have simplified the Windows upgrade experience with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which supports you during your upgrade with everything from selecting your language to pausing your download to built-in compatibility checks - it’s seamless," he added. "And if you’re an enthusiast you will have the flexibility to download and control how you upgrade."
On Monday Microsoft launched the Customer Preview version of Office 2013 (15) which can be downloaded here. Included is Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office, and are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with just a finger.