Microsoft VP: Windows 8 to Be Officially Released in 'Late October'

By Chris VelazcoTech Crunch

Microsoft kicked off its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto with a bit of a bang earlier today — during the event’s keynote address, Microsoft VP and Windows CFO Tami Reller revealed when manufacturers and consumers would be able to get their hands on Windows 8.

Continue Reading Below

The long-awaited operating system is on track to be released to manufacturers in the first week of August, with a consumer launch slated for “late October.”

Though it’s nice to finally have an actual timeline for the Windows 8 release process, the particular launch window Microsoft announced isn’t much of a surprise — rumors of an October launch have been swirling for a little while now.

That said, it isn’t without its shortcomings. With “general availability” set for October, Microsoft and its hardware partners will largely miss out on the lucrative back-to-school computer shopping season that kicks off late in the summer and generally runs through September.

It’s not a complete loss though, as Microsoft has been busy covering its bases. The company revealed its Windows Upgrade Offer back in June, under which customers who purchase Windows 7 PCs between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 will be able to upgrade to the new operating system for a scant $15. What’s more, Microsoft last week has said that users on XP, Vista, or 7 will be able to purchase the Windows 8 upgrade for $40 once October rolls around in an attempt to simplify the transition.

More On This...

Sure, it’s not the same as actually having Windows 8 PCs on store shelves and displays waiting to be played with (especially when Macs seem to be popular among the back-to-school crowd), but it’s far better than nothing.

More from Tech Crunch: