Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will launch on 26 October.

President of Windows at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, made the announcement at the firm's annual sales meeting finally giving a specific date. The 26 October is a Friday so you can put it in your calendar and spend the following weekend upgrading to Windows 8. See also: Windows 8: the complete guide.

Windows 8 release 26 October

The news follows the recent announcement that Windows 8 would launch by the end of October. The next version of the operating system is on track to hit release to manufacturing (RTM) next month. See alsoInstall Windows 8 Release Preview.

Eager consumers will be able to either upgrade to Windows 8 on 26 October or purchase in pre-installed on a new PC, Microsoft said in a blog post. The OS will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide. See also Windows 8 release date and features UK.

Windows 8 Advisor

Those upgrading from Vista, XP and Windows 7 will be able to do so for $39. But those with a new Windows 7 machine will be able to upgrade for £14 via the Windows Upgrade Offer.

Windows 8 will come in four versions – Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Enterprise for PCs, laptops and tablets. This week Microsoft also announced the new version of Office 2013 software for Windows users.

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