Windows 8 to Hit General Availability Late October
Article by George Norman
On 10 Jul 2012
Until now Microsoft has kept quiet on when the upcoming Windows 8 operating system will hit General Availability (GA) status. This week in Toronto, during its annual Worldwide Partners Conference, Microsoft broke the silence and talked about when Windows 8 will hit the stores.

Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller explained that Windows 8 will hit RTM (Release to Manufacturing) status in the first week of August, 2012. Then she went on to say that Windows 8 will reach GA (General Availability) status by the end of October.

To put in layman’s terms, Microsoft basically announced that enterprise customers will get their hands on Windows 8 as early as August 2012 while regular customers will get their hands on Windows 8 in October 2012. The operating system will be made available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide. New hardware powered by Windows 8 will become available for purchase (like the new Windows 8-powered Surface tablet) and options to purchase upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 8 will be made available to customers (like the option to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99).


Speaking about Windows 7, Microsoft used its annual conference as a change to tout the commercial success of “the bestselling operating system in history.” Tami Reller announced that to date, more than 630 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold worldwide. She also announced that Windows 7 powers more than 50% of enterprise desktops.

Getting back to Windows 8, so far Microsoft rolled out a Windows 8 Consumer Preview and a Windows 8 Release Preview. The Consumer Preview was rolled out to the public in February while the Release Preview in late May. If you want to put the Release Preview to the test, you can download it for free from Microsoft here.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8, General Availability, GA, RTM, Release to Manufacturing, Windows 7, Surface, tablet
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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