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Microsoft officially announces Windows 8 launch date - October 26th

October 26th, 2012. That’s the date folks and it’s a Friday, in case you were wondering.

Microsoft today (via Steven Sinofsky) just revealed at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that Windows 8 for customers will be available for download and on new PCs too starting at the end of October. With a $40 upgrade fee in place, purchasing a license for the much hyped OS should be easy and painless. 

So where does that leave Windows Phone 8? We’re betting we’ll see a similar release pattern and time-frame for their next mobile OS. We have a feeling Microsoft is going for a big launch, dominating tech headlines for weeks to come. While it will be hard to coordinate with carriers, we’re hoping their strategy is aiming for a universal release.

For the last two years, Microsoft has released new Windows Phones in October/November so we’re hoping for a repeat this time around too.

At least that’s our expectation.

Source: Microsoft

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

93 Comments
  • Great! I will be getting the $40.00 upgrade for my computers at home.
  • BOO YAH!!!
  • I'm looking forward to a tablet than anything.
  • I agree. I really want a surface :)
  • Woohooo!! Finally a release date!! Exciting times indeed! Now gimme that Surface!
  • Cool
  • Yup, Surface Pro for me... it'll be an Xmas present from the girlie
    And I hope they launch a series of windows 8 phones same day (10/26). I'll be getting it day one. Although I have a titan and wont be eligible for upgrade, I'll at least be able to pay my way out of contract to get this. Worth the price of admission imho.
  • Surface Pro is supposed to be available 3 months after the RT Surface - so early 2013, well after Christmas.
  • Yup, the surface pro and hopefully a sweet Nokia pureview WP8 as gifts to myself this holiday season...or a bit after. !!
  • To celebrate :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM5pFkNQ7no
  • Video not found?
  • Works for me, though.
  • Yes. Video not found!
  • Gotta use the "share" button
    http://youtu.be/eM5pFkNQ7no
  • Something weird happens when the link goes into IE. If I paste the link in then it works, but direct from the link it doesn't.
  • Just search for this in YouTube:
    em5pfknq7no
  • I know how long I have before I can get myself a nice winRT tablet now
  • Surface, wp8 & Wii U. Going to be an expensive couple of months.
  • Really?  WiiU over Xbox360 and Kinect?  How come?
  • I bought an xbox360 seven years ago. Why would I buy another one? Kinect is rubbish imo
  • Not sure if trolling or insanely stupid...
  • lol right
  • everyone likes different things, let it go
  • Even so that comment has no place on a site like this. I wouldn't goto a PS3 site saying move sucks nor will I goto a Nintendo site saying Wii sucks.
  • This is a Windows Phone website though, a website for just the smart phone. It's not a site for the Xbox 360 or any other actual home entertainment system.
  • Well, I own a 360 and plan on getting a Wii U as well. For me, as long as Nintendo continues to crank out awesome first party games, their systems will always be automatic buys. As for Kinect, I got one used just for the fact that you can use video chat and it makes it easier to see my nieces in California. Otherwise, what games have been released that would convince anyone to go with a Kinect?
  • Yea even tho I prefer Xbox for hardcore games I still come back to Nintendo for Zelda,Mario etc.
  • I am guessing because Wii U is the next console that will compete with xbox/ps3 even after all these years. 
     
    Xbox is old. 
  • It's no older than the ps3
  • the reply to the OP didnt mention a ps3 so decided not to reference. 
     
    In anycase,  xbox came out a year before ps3. 
  • Either way the Xbox isn't old. It still runs great and has enough power for everything devs want to do.
  • and they have not even maxed out the system yet, getting close but, not there yet..
  • The Xbox 360 is one year older than the PS3.
  • Your wishlist is just like mine!  Although the Wii U is getting pushed back interest simple because of the expense of the Surface and having two little kids means pretty much no time for gaming.  I'll make due with my 3DS until later.
  • u should wait till the next box comes, don't think Wii u is gonna cut...those big ole controller/tablet is not the future of gaming
  • Most people who have used it says its pretty comfortable to use. And if it's the case that controller/tablets won't cut it, then is MS wasting it time with Smartglass? Granted, its not a separate device. But its the same concept. And besides, I'm almost certain you can use other peripherals beside the tablet controller. I think it's a wait and see type of deal.
  • The normal controller is designed like an xbox controller according to some sources that came out during e3.  It was done for Call of Duty purposes. 
  • Guys understand that owning multiple systems is because of your love for gaming. There's no need for fanboys in gaming it's got to much already. Every system has their great games. Besides he has an Xbox he's not missing out. Now being a fanboy of Windows Phone is acceptable lol. I do think Jelly Bean is a great OS though but I'm WP8 all the especially since I cracked my screen.
  • Going to be tough to beat my HTC Titan 2...I can't wait to see the next level of phone hardware for WP8.
     
  • So where does the 9/7 date from Nokia fit in?
  • I think it's an announcement of the next wp8 devices
  • Maybe they will split launches of products so one doesn't eclipse the other... September for WP and October for W8
     
  • That would be cool, the sooner the better for WP8 devices...
     
    but, knowing MS, it will be WIndows 8 then WP8... :(
  • I think they should have released in Aug.  All of the "Back to School" sales going on, and students/parents buying laptops for school, it would have been a great way to get a large addoption right away. But they are basicly missing the starting line here, and new students won't be buying W8 laptops untill the following summer.
    I don't think most students are going to go through with an update mid-school-year. 
  • I agree if they would have gotten it out for back to school they would have gotten a lot more sales. Now they may lose some of their tablet sales for college kids to the ipad by default.
  • Good thing for the $15 upgrade offer to Windows 8 when you buy a Windows 7 PC after June 2.
  • Yes! The W8ing is almost over. Surface I'm looking at you and Vizio I'm looking forward to your Win8 all in one.
  • Ok, this is officially my first "I saw what you did there" comment :)
  • Congrats
  • Anyone here hoping for a bundle deal? Buy a Surface & get a WP8 free...that would be sweet. :)
  • That would be very smart if them to do
  • Not on a business standpoint. 
  • +1 !!!!
    50% on wp8 will be ok too ;)
  • I bet it gets bundled with an Xbox and Kinect before a phone.
  • Yeeahhh!!!
  • I, too, am most excited for the tablet and can't wait to find out when that's coming out.
  • Can't wait
  • WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!
  • In the pic at the top of the article, is that a new voodoo app and the hurt ex boyfriend is poking his ex girlfriend in the eye?
  • Microsoft clearly has a thing for October 26 since Windows Phone launched in 2010
  • I think they want to celebrate my birthday, that's why they always plan things on October 26th :D
  • Windows was released November 8th.
  • Great news, now when will the Surface pre-order go live. 3 please thank you very much.
  • I'D really love to preorder a surface. I'm having a problem getting my mind around the reason they're willing to miss out on all the back to school revenue
  • The day before my birthday! :D
  • I hope I can get it free through my MSDN subscription.
  • If you get Windows 7 with your MSDN sub, you will get Windows 8 (and the ultimate versions too), MSDN normaly gets it a little sooner than retail too...
  • I know the nbr 8 is lucky in Chinese culture, but it's definitely my favorite now. Woohoo! ..doing my happy dance now :) Calendar marked!
  • Bring it MS!! Cannot wait for my Windows Share. :)
  • And then the US Patent Office will allow them to patent it, forcing schools everywhere to pay royalties to them whenever they teach maths :p
  • In case this is in reply to my now deleted comment about wishing for a device that is simply called "8". I deleted coz it didn't make sense when I read it back :)
  • As I will end up getting Windows 8, but, for windows phone 8 I gota wait till October ? WTF, I want it ASAP...
  • It's always released in October /November
  • Yay! Exciting times ahead :)
  • Time to save money for my new toy windows 8 pro will do for me most likely a surface
  • That would be my dream come true.
  • Does that mean that surface (not the RT) is only comming in Jan ( they said it would be 3 months after windows 8 launch
  • 15 buck upgrade
  • I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED! Bought a new laptop and don't want to put CP on here because of the $15 upgrade I am due.
  • Thats another 6 months (from now) for Surface Pro. Either that, or the asus taichi for me.
  • Or something from Nokia hopefully?
  • If they can make something as good as the Surface Pro and its shipping as soon as its announced (ala apple), then definitely will get Nokia.
  • What about the SURFACE??? we never heard anything from Msft...
  • I'm going to save up for my surface tablet :-D
  • Same here! :-)
  • I've already saved for mine....
    Got £800 ready to drop on my new Surface Pro :)
  • On my birthday, awesome! :)
  • Really glad the upgrade is only $40. I recently got a cheapo refurbished desktop, and it runs Release Preview like a champ, but since it's refurbished, I don't believe I'm eligible for the $15 offer. $40 though? I'm cool with that.
  • Excited for this, but one question. What if your PC needs a clean install from some trouble. How could we re-install Windows 8 from the web. If the PC needs a clean install it probably will not be able to boot into the OS in the first place. 
  • That's why you burn the ISO to a disk. Although W8 is going to have some better restore options.
  • If the file is available in the system then yes. Thanks.
  • Removable media, just make a USB stick with W8 on it.
  • My contract renews in February 2013. Just enough time to read the real world reviews and take advantage of the 3 month mark downs on the new models. Love my Surround; can't wait for WP8.