Microsoft Will Release Windows 8 On October 26

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Smack-dab in the middle of earnings season, Microsoft has officially announced that the long-awaited Windows 8 operating system will be available to upgraders and new PC buyers alike come October 26, 2012. For those of you keeping count, that’s about 14 weeks from now.

Just a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would be available in “late October” which was soon enough to be excited and vague enough to be an understandably unreliable timeline. But Microsoft has set a date, and that date is October 26.

Expect to hear a few friends freak out about a missing Start button around Halloween.

This is a huge turning point for Microsoft. The company is just starting to be cool again, and not even in a retro-vintage kind of way. They are actually getting aggressive with smart acquisitions, Windows Phone is on the road to success, and Windows 8, the mack-daddy of all that effort, is Microsoft’s apology for ever offering up Vista.

A while back Microsoft released a concept video detailing the company’s aspirations for the future. It’s an incredibly cool portrayal, and now that I’ve played around with Windows 8, it’s clear that Microsoft is going for it in a tangible way.