Windows 8 Set to Debut October 26

The operating system will release to manufacturing in August.

Windows 8, Microsoft's radically different operating system that combines traditional usage scenarios with mobile device functionality, has a final delivery date.

According to a Windows Team blog post made Wednesday, the official release date for Windows 8 will be Oct. 26, 2012.

Microsoft had previously announced that Windows 8's general availability (GA) launch date would be October.

According to the blog post, Microsoft's President of the Windows and Windows Live Division Steven Sinofsky made the announcement today at a Microsoft sales conference. "Customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on October 26."

Last week Microsoft announced that upgrades to Windows 8 will cost $40.

Of specific interest to developers is Windows 8's new runtime, called WinRT (or Windows RunTime). The runtime offers several development options: an HTML5/JavaScript/CSS3 environment for those familiar with Web development tools, or XAML and some combination of the C#, Visual Basic or C++ languages.

Windows 8 is a hybrid operating system meant to run on several types of processors:

  • The ARM version, for touch-enabled mobile devices like Windows Phone and tablets like the recently-announced Surface
  • Traditional Intel and AMD chips, which will run a desktop version for more full-featured applications.

The user interface for Windows on ARM will be based on "Metro" design, which Microsoft calls a "fast and fluid" UI. Most Microsoft-focused developers will be using Visual Studio 2012 to build Windows 8 software. VS 2012 is currently at release candidate (RC) stage. A free version, Visual Studio Express 2012 RC for Windows 8, is available for download.

Windows 8 itself is at release preview stage, and will release to manufacturing in August.

For more recent news and coverage of Windows 8, go here.

Visual Studio Magazine Editor-in-Chief Keith Ward contributed to this story.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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