Once upon a time when discussing operating systems, Windows would have been at the top of every person’s list and while it is still the world’s most recognizable OS, it has suffered a fall from greatness in recent years. With the whirlwind resurgence of Apple over the last decade, the company’s products and software have become some of the most talked about in the technology world, with Mac OS X benefitting from a rise in popularity, stealing the thunder from Microsoft.

Over the last couple of years we have seen a huge shift in the market, with the public showing that they are ready to adopt smartphones and tablet PCs as their main computing devices, leaving Microsoft to rethink their strategy. The introduction of Windows 8 is Microsoft’s answer to this change in trends, with the Redmond company hoping that the radically redesigned operating system will allow them to compete with Apple and Google across the desktop PC and tablet markets.

Windows 8 Metro logo

From what we have seen so far at the Mobile World Congress and from the official Consumer Preview of Windows 8, the software looks like it will be extremely popular and has already gained a huge fan base who are eagerly awaiting the official launch of the finished product. There has been no official word from Microsoft about when that launch will come, but Bloomberg are today citing sources who are familiar with the proposed schedule, claiming that Microsoft will finish development of Windows 8 this summer with the public likely to see a full and final release by October this year.

If this report is accurate, an October launch would come exactly three years after the launch of Microsoft’s current Windows 7 OS. Janelle Poole, who is Director of Windows Public Relations has also been quoted as saying that they were keen to keep their "every three years" schedule, bringing further support to the October 2012 claim. A launch in October would more than likely prove to be good business for Microsoft, allowing them to capitalize on the holiday shoppers who may just have that latest Windows 8 tablet or laptop in mind for a loved one.

Win8CP

Bloomberg are also reporting that the initial launch of Windows 8 will see compatibility for devices and machines that are running Intel and ARM chips, bringing to an end any concerns that the company might not be supporting both standards from the get-go. Even though both chipsets will be supported, it looks as though the launch could see as little as five machines being available which feature an ARM chip, compared to over forty Intel powered devices. We have had no official word from Microsoft about the Windows 8 launch, but we will be sure to bring any more information as it comes in.

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