Windows 8, Surface Tablet Release Date Set for Oct. 26

The Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface tablet's release date could be as early as Oct. 26. Microsoft is planning on holding a press event on Oct. 25 in New York City where the new operating system will be unveiled. The company is expected to release both Windows 8 and the Surface tablet the very next day.

The Verge reported that Microsoft will begin selling the Surface tablet at midnight on Oct. 26 at its holiday pop-up shops that the company will open all over the U.S. and Canada.

The Surface tablet features some impressive specs including a 10.6-inch display, a full version of Windows 8, Gorilla Glass, a built in kickstand, and a tactile multi-touch keyboard.

Two versions of the tablet will be released including an Intel-powered Surface Pro and the Surface RT that is powered by an ARM chip and runs Windows RT which is another version of Windows 8.

Microsoft did not announce pricing for the device, but the latest rumors point to it costing $199. This would make it the cheapest full-sized tablet to be released this year. Microsoft would also undercut the iPad's price significantly along with the new Kindle Fire HD and Barnes and Noble Nook HD+ that start at $299 and $269.

Microsoft will launch Windows 8 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.