Microsoft has confirmed that is latest operating system (OS) Windows 8 will launch this October.
Windows CFO Tami Reller made the announcement at the company's worldwide partner conference, also confirming that the RTM version of the OS would be ready for August.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said that Windows 8 is a key component of what he described as the most important year for Microsoft, more important than even the founding of the company or the launch of the PC.
He said: "This year is really unparalleled. The core of Microsoft is reinventing itself for the modern era. It will be the best year ever."
The launch date also revealed when the first Microsoft Surface tablet will hit the shelves, as the ARM-based model is set to be released at the same time Windows 8 goes to market.
Although Ballmer also announced the launch date for Microsoft's first Surface tablet, he Ballmer claimed that, of the 375 million PCs he expected to ship with the latest OS, only "a few million" copies would be running on the portable devices. Reller noted that for those looking to buy devices running the current Windows 7 OS, an update to Windows 8 Pro will be available at a discounted price of $14.99 (approx $pound;9.70).
Further announcements are expected today about Microsoft's suite of products, with many awaiting news on Microsoft Office.
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