On Monday, Microsoft officially announced that Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing during the first week in August. Since that event is just about three weeks away, Windows 8 should be considered “Done” at this point and any tweaks or adjustments going on are more like finishing touches than anything serious.

The first PC’s running Windows 8 will go on sale in late October; just in time for the pre-holiday selling season. It must be assumed that upgrade and OEM copies of the Operating System will become available around that time as well. When either one of these events takes place, the free re-release version will be disabled. That means that if you already have this version installed on your PC as the primary OS, your machine will only function as a doorstop until you buy a licensed copy.

October is shaping up to be a busy month for Redmond, WA as Microsoft will also be releasing its own hardware, the Microsoft Surface
tablet. More details will be revealed in a later post but it is worth noting that Samsung appears to be planning a Win 8 tablet of its own and Fujitsu is already offering tablets optomised for Windows 8. Fears that large OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) would give Windows 8 Tablets a miss because of direct competition with Microsoft seem to be somewhat unfounded at the moment.

At the end of the day, we won’t know the full impact of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s surface tablet until late October gets here. Stay tuned!

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