Microsoft will officially launch its new Windows 8 OS for PCs, tablets and other devices in October, according to an announcement made by the company at its Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 event.
It also plans to release the Windows 8 RTM (Release to Manufacturing) in the first week of August. This is the final version of the operating system, released to manufacturers so they can begin implementing it into their devices.
Microsoft will launch the new OS in three different flavors.
The three types include Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro versions that will be available for Intel-compatible machines, and a Windows RT version for tablets powered by ARM-designed chips.
Of all of these types, the ARM version stands out since Microsoft hopes to unify the engine known for running desktop computers with that tablets and smartphones. It will be a direct competitor for Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system.
Microsoft announced the new flavors on its blog earlier this year. The company hopes to simplify its brand on this go round.
"We have worked to make [the editions] easier for customers to know what will work best for them when they purchase a new Windows 8 PC or upgrade their existing PC," said Windows communications manger Brandon LeBlanc on Windows Team Blog.
LeBlanc also stated that the professional version of Windows 8 has been designed for tech enthusiasts and people who are entrenched in the business world.
According to the blog post, Windows RT will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors. Leblanc stated that the OS will give those devices an extended battery life.
The RT version will also include touch-optimized desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Onenote, along with cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, and web-connected applications.
Microsoft will also offer an enterprise edition of the OS for customers who have Software Assurance agreements. It includes everything from Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organizations that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization and mobility scenarios.