Well, it's official folks. Microsoft is shipping Windows 8 to the general public on October 26, just five days prior to Halloween and just over three years since the launch of Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. The Redmond outfit previously said Windows 8 would release to manufacturers (RTM) in August and to the general public sometime in late October, the latter of which is when customers will be able to buy new hardware with the touch-friendly OS pre-installed, or upgrade existing systems or (build new ones) using off-the-shelf (or downloadable) copies.
Microsoft's Communications Manager, Brandon LeBlanc, posted the release date on the official Windows Team Blog, confirming reports that Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows and Windows Live Division, made the announcement at Microsoft's annual sales meeting.
There's a lot at stake for Microsoft and the PC industry as a whole with the launch of Windows 8, which is heavily geared towards touch-screen computing. For consumers, it's a potential low cost gamble, at least for those who take advantage of Microsoft's $40 upgrade offer announced earlier in July.