Updated operating system featuring 'Metro' interface likely to be available as a download.
Windows 8 will be "released to manufacturing" in the first week of August, and will move to "general availability" for everyone by the end of October, Microsoft has announced.
Speaking at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in the US, Tami Reller, the vice-president for Windows, gave the dates when the finished software would be sent out to companies so that they can test and include it on PCs – the "release to manufacture", or "RTM" date – and the later date when people will be able to buy and download it directly from Microsoft.
Microsoft has already announced a scheme which mean that people who bought a PC running Windows 7 after 2 June will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $15.
Windows 8 will automatically be included as the basic system on PCs that go on sale from late October, or possibly before. Microsoft will also offer a free cloud storage account using its SkyDrive system to every Windows 8 buyer.
Microsoft is introducing a new system for buying third-party software, called "The Windows Store", with Windows 8. That will only offer approved and checked software for sale.
Windows 7 was available in both boxed and download forms, and Windows 8 is expected to follow the same pattern.
Source: The Guardian