SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has released its Windows 8 operating system (OS) to PC makers.
Microsoft announced the news today in a post on its Windows Team Blog.
"This means we've completed the product development and testing of the product and have started handing off the final code to our OEM partners," said Microsoft's communications manager Brandon LeBlanc.
"They can now begin preparing new Windows 8 PCs and devices they'll introduce starting with General Availability."
LeBlanc added that on 15 August developers will be able to visit the Windows Developer Center (WDC) to access the tools and resources they need to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows Store, including the final build of Visual Studio 2012.
Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows division announced earlier this month that the company's next OS will go on sale to the general public on 26 October, saying that customers will be able to get Windows 8 from that date onwards either as an upgrade or on a new PC.
Those who want to buy a Windows laptop or PC today will be able to update to Windows 8 Professional for $39.99 come October. Those who have owned a Windows 7 PC or laptop for some time will be able to upgrade for $39.99.
The OS will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide. There will also be many OEMs ready to roll out their lines of ultrabooks and tablets running the OS in time for the release.
October will be a big month for Microsoft's operating system treadmill and the Windows PC and tablet business. µ