Microsoft announced earlier today that their newest operating system, Windows 8 has been released to manufacturers with the final code intact (referred to as RTM).
Microsoft made it clear they planned to release the RTM version of Windows 8 at the beginning of August and the consumer version will be made available on October 26. Seeing as the RTM has actually been released, it means that Microsoft is right on track for the October release of Windows 8.
In the time, leading up to October, Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows 8 to select developers and IT professionals, but the public won’t actually start seeing Windows 8 on new devices until October.
Microsoft is also planning to release several Windows 8 branded products like the Windows Phone devices, Microsoft Surface tablets and Office 15. All of which were originally scheduled to launch sometime after Windows 8.
Welcome to Microsoft Windows 8
Windows 8 expands upon the traditional Windows platform, to provide an efficient and more responsive experience. Thanks to Microsoft’s new mobile device lineup and upcoming tablet brand, they’ve also tailored the Windows 8 OS to work on minimal hardware.
Windows 8 actually runs smoothly on less than 300 Mb of RAM through a better resource handling and management system. This will allow the device to have even more resources for running apps, programs and even games. Previous iterations of Windows, especially Vista, had the potential to be a significant resource hog. Windows 7 provided a significant improvement for performance over XP, and Windows 8 will do the same.
The Windows Metro UI, that boxy and stylish screen you’ve seen in most previews, replaced the Windows Start Menu. The Metro interface is designed to provide seamless navigation whether you are browsing with a mouse and keyboard, or through gestures via a touchscreen. Windows will boot into Metro when it starts up, and then when minimized the screen can be revisited by selecting the new Start Menu icon in the bottom left.
Metro is uncluttered and remarkably responsive. It provides all of your most prominent applications and data up front to reduce the time it takes to get to where you want to be.
In addition, the Windows App store will allow consumers to purchase mobile and desktop apps that have been designed specifically for the Windows 8 platform. Most of the apps will also take advantage of the new Metro user interface, by adding in advanced functionality or other features.
If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to check out our more in depth preview of what Windows 8 will offer.
Microsoft Surface Tablets
Microsoft also announced that it would release its family of upcoming Surface tablets shortly after Windows 8 hit the market, and its blatantly obvious that time is growing closer.
There are two versions of the Surface tablet; one version of the tablet is running the mobile ARM based processor while the other is running a more substantial Intel based processor. Both tablet versions will contain the same basic design, and will operate under the same software, which is a build of the Windows 8 OS; however, each tablet is tailored for a specific demographic.
The Windows RT, or ARM version, will be a lower end device designed just for consumers. While the Windows Pro, or Intel version, is both more expensive and slightly more powerful for the corporate world.
The Windows RT Surface tablets will go head to head with Apple’s iPad lineup, but we’d assume that they will still be a little pricey. That being said, it is kind of hard to take our eyes off the affordable new kid in town, the Google Nexus 7… but we digress.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Microsoft Surface tablets, feel free to check our preview of Microsoft’s upcoming tablet brand.
The Windows 8 Release Date is October 26
Microsoft previously announced the October 26 release date, but release schedules have a tendency to get delayed at times. The recent news of the RTM rollout just proves that Microsoft is right on track. It’s time to gear up and get ready for the release of the new OS and all the latest Microsoft products that are coming soon!
After the Windows 8 release, Microsoft will continue to sell the Windows 7 operating system to consumers. Select buyers of Windows 7 (through January 20,2013) will be able to buy Windows 8 Pro at a significant discount.
You might as well start backing up all your information now, and get everything ready for a new install in October because Windows 8 is just that awesome. You won’t want to miss it!