Windows 8 goes to manufacturers in August, will ship in October
It's the first time Microsoft gives the official shipping date for its new OS
IDG News Service - Windows 8, the next major upgrade of Microsoft's operating system for PCs, tablets and laptops, will be released to manufacturers in August and will ship commercially in October, the company announced on Monday.
Microsoft had previously said that the OS would be commercially available before the end of the year but hadn't given a firm shipping date.
When Windows 8 is released to manufacturers (RTM), Microsoft will also activate the Windows Store and start charging for applications, which during the test period have been free, the company announced at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
In a keynote appearance at the conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that this is "an epic year" for Microsoft because of all the new product upgrades it's delivering, in particular Windows 8, which he called "the biggest deal for our company in at least 17 years."
Windows 8 will hit its RTM milestone in early August and will begin shipping commercially in late October, according to Microsoft. Those dates apply not only to the Windows 8 version for x86 chips from AMD and Intel, but also for Windows RT, the Windows 8 version that will run on ARM-based devices. Windows RT will ship embedded with its devices, which will be made by Microsoft and third-party hardware partners. It will not be sold as a stand-alone OS like Windows 8 for x86.
At the time of commercial availability, Windows 8 will also be available for upgrades for people with PCs running Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Microsoft has already provided details about upgrade options and prices.
Enterprise customers who participate in the Software Assurance program will get access to Windows 8 as early as August via download, according to Microsoft.
The RTM and shipping dates didn't come as a surprise to at least two analysts.
"The dates are where we would expect them to be," said IDC analyst Al Gillen. "Microsoft had to hit an August RTM for Windows 8 devices to be ready for the holiday shopping season."
Gillen doesn't expect enterprises to rush to adopt Windows 8, primarily because most enterprises have either recently migrated or are in the midst of migrating to Windows 7.
It will be a different story in the consumer market, where makers of PCs, laptops and tablets will quickly adopt Windows 8, making it difficult for individual buyers to find a Windows 7 machine in a matter of months after the new OS becomes available, he said.
Michael Silver, a Gartner analyst, also said the milestone dates are in line with his expectations, and that he doesn't see CIOs and IT managers hurrying to roll out Windows 8 to their users.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts