Microsoft have just announced that Windows 8, the follow-up to the hugely popular Windows 7 operating system will be launching this October. While we wouldn't normally cover a desktop operating system here at Recombu, Windows 8 is set to bridge the divide between Windows tablets and their desktop / laptop counterparts, posing direct competition against Android tablets, iOS tablets and all they stand for.
As brought to light by Boy Genius and revealed at Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference , the final consumer version of Windows 8 will be made available towards the end of October. It will be available standalone, or on board a range of launch devices, such as Microsoft's Surface tablet announced in June. Microsoft have also put an affordable upgrade path in motion for anyone buying a PC running Windows Phone 7. A mere $14.99 will upgrade you to the latest, touch-centric version of Microsoft's OS.
The hardware however will unlikely be quite so affordable. With the upcoming Surface available in two variants, costing either $699 or $999 in the US and offering the only Windows 8 tablet pricing indicator so far, Windows 8 tablets probably won't be for all, especially in the face of Google's Nexus 7, available here in the UK for as little as £159. That said, in Windows you can expect a more complete desktop experience on the go.
In addition to the Surface, we're looking forward to seeing the likes of the Asus Taichi, a dual-screened laptop and the Transformer like Asus Tablet 600 and 810 running Windows 8 before the year's out. We can't wait to get our hands on these incredibly capable mobile devices and finally, we now know exactly how long we have to wait.