Microsoft has confirmed that it will hold the official launch for Windows 8 on October 25th in New York City. Readers should be advised that this is not the same as the date that Windows 8 will be available commercially. Launch dates are usually big, splashy parties for the media so a company can announce that its long-awaited product is finally here.

Sometimes, launch/announcement events can backfire as happened with Apple very recently. The boys from Cupertino made the formal announcement that the iPhone Five is here – and there was much rejoicing – and then subsequently announced that the delivery date was being pushed back. Of course, this came as a major disappointment to the legions of Apple fanatics who had planned to stand on line – for days if necessary – outside the nearest Apple store so that they could be among the first to have one. (Apple is missing a golden opportunity by not selling tents, sleeping bags and umbrellas stamped with the corporate logo.)

Windows 8 will be commercially available – which means that ordinary folks like you and I can buy it – the following day on Oct. 26th. Those of you who have downloaded the customer preview of Windows 8 should be advised that the demo OS will cease to work on that day. (There is no such thing as a free lunch.) Microsoft will also make the RT version of its Surface tablet commercially available on that date, just in time for the holidays. It should be an interesting Autumn.

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