Windows 8 release date confirmed – but is it doomed?


Technology and software giant Microsoft has confirmed that the first devices to be launched with their new Windows 8 operating system will be released in October. The operating system will be made available to computer, tablet or smartphone makers in August, to enable them to build it into their devices.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer (image: Tonis Tech Blog)

“This will be the biggest product and services launch year in our company’s history, creating massive opportunities for our partners to grow their businesses”, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said.

During Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference, Ballmer was very optimistic about the new OS. “(It) is simply the biggest deal for this company in at least 17 years. It’s the glue; it’s the foundation of everything Microsoft is built on.”

“The October launch date has been confirmed for both Windows 8 and Windows RT, the ARM-compatible tablet-specific build which Microsoft hopes will be tackling the worrying popularity of Google’s Linux-based Android and Apple’s iOS platform in the tablet market. As a result, expect to see Microsoft Surface tablets in shops before the Christmas rush,” wrote

While Ballmer is excited about the release, the latest data from California-based analytics firm Net Applications point towards a luke-warm reception. The number of users who switched over to a preview version of Windows 8 was significantly lower than compared to when Windows 7 launched a preview three years ago, with the company noting that only 0.18% of computers connected to the Internet in June ran one of the previews of Windows 8.

Net Applications also added that it is not looking good for the latest operating system, when compared to the install-base of 2009. Windows 8’s Release Preview has been installed on 2.9-million machines out of 1.6-billion computers running windows. When a preview of Windows 7 was released in 2009, it was installed on 9.4-million computers, out of approx. 1.25-billion computers.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor


  1. A slow uptake is not necessarily bad. We have to realize that with Android operating system around there is added competition for eyeballs from users. The tablet users are the people who would have likely been the early adopters. All may not be lost as the quality of Windows 8 will sell itself by word of mouth. The good coming out of this is the legitimization of the ARM chip by including an OS specifically designed for it. It will help tremendously as we see more computers, in any form factor, using the low powered chips, especially for countries without good national electrical grids. When coupled with the increasing efficiency, and falling prices, of solar powered electricity generation and LED lighting, I can see a lot of people in developing countries (Africa included) becoming productive for longer periods of the day.

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