Microsoft today released its touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system to manufacturers (RTM, or Released to Manufacturing). The release signals a milestone that indicates the software juggernaut has completed product development and exterminated enough bugs to feel confident enough to hand out final code to OEM partners. Companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard can now begin prepping new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, which they'll introduce to the public next month.
Windows users have already marked their calendars for October 26, 2012, which is the day Microsoft joins the touch-computing revolution with the launch of Windows 8. Not the least bit surprising, it's also the day Microsoft will begin selling its Surface tablet, a revelation that appears in a recent 10-K filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in lieu of an official announcement.
Microsoft is already starting to milk what it hopes is a Windows 8 cash cow before the operating system comes home to pasture. In case anyone has forgotten, Microsoft is also in the business of selling hardware accessories, something it's been doing for the past three decades, and it continues today with the introduction of new mice and keyboards, all of which "work beautifully with Windows 8," the company claims.
In a recent interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, the outspoken unofficial head of PC Gaming leveled some pretty damning criticism on Windows 8. Using words such as “catastrophe”, the internet instantly lit up with story’s and comments that for the most part, were largely supportive of his radical stance. It could easily be argued that his comments are largely self-serving since Microsoft is setting itself up in direct competition with Valve’s Steam store, but people will have to decide for themselves. Why bring up old wounds you ask? Valve has a new supporter.
Will Microsoft’s Surface tablet really start at over $1,000? That is the question that has been on everyone’s mind ever since a listing for the upcoming Microsoft-branded tablet surfaced on Swedish site Webhallen. But we need not speculate any further as the Swedish e-tailer’s Surface pricing itself is pretty speculative.
You may have heard that Valve is hard at work porting its Steam client to the Linux platform, but it's not because the company has developed a sudden affinity towards the open source space. The real reason is because Valve views Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 release as a "catastrophe" in the making for the PC industry at large, or at least that's the viewpoint held by Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director at Valve.
The Windows 8 app store in the consumer preview has been somewhat lackluster in terms of quality, but this can be easily explained. The beta version of Windows 8 still doesn’t allow developers to charge for metro applications, which means the most polished offerings likely won’t surface until release on October 26th (pun somewhat intended). We have to admit we’ve been a bit curious as to how Microsoft will handle transactions in the Windows 8 store, and in a recent blog post, the Redmond based software giant finally released a detailed breakdown of what to expect.
Here at Maximum PC we love to refresh our hardware with a new OS. Windows 8 is controversial, but given time who knows, we might actually warm up to it. Most consumers on the other hand don’t typically upgrade just software, they will pick up Windows 8 on a new PC. Hardware makers usually count on a new version of the OS to spur a new round of consumer spending, and according to Intel, OEM’s have over 20 Atom-based Windows 8 tablets coming down the pipe, along with 140 new Ultrabooks.
A universal stylus capable of interacting with all kinds of displays, and not just touch-sensitive ones, is said to be in the works at Microsoft. According to the venerable MIT Technology Review, the said stylus has already won a lot of praise internally, with the decision of whether or not to move forward with its development now resting with the powers that be at the Redmond-based software giant.
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.