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Windows 8 confirmed for October launch

Windows 8 confirmed for October launch

Windows 8 and Windows RT are to be launched in October, alongside a portable USB-based version dubbed Windows To Go.

Microsoft has narrowed the launch window for its next-generation Windows 8 operating system, confirming that end-users will get their hands on the software in October.

While not announcing a specific launch day, Microsoft's Tami Reller, chief marketing officer of the Windows division, told attendees at the Wordwide Partner Conference in Toronto to expect the operating system to reach Release To Manufacturing (RTM) status in August and be available at retail by the end of October. That date holds true for 231 markets and 109 languages, Reller explained.

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 - although rumours pointing to yield issues with the ultra-thin magnesium-alloy chassis could mean supplies are initially limited.

Microsoft is going to have a fight on its hands to replicate the success of Windows 7, however. According to figures released by Reller at the event, the current generation of Windows desktop has sold more than 630 million copies, with over half of enterprise desktops now running some variant of Windows 7. With concerns being raised about the Metro interface and apparent focus on touch-screen technology in Windows 8 - a focus which will not go away, with Microsoft having today announced the acquisition of large-format multi-touch specialist Perceptive Pixel - it remains to be seen if business users are as quick to adopt Windows 8 as they were its predecessor.

At the same event, Microsoft showed off its answer to Linux 'Live CD' distributions - entire operating systems which run off a CD, DVD or USB stick with no installation required - with Windows To Go. Sold as a 32GB USB drive, Windows To Go allows any Windows 7 computer to boot into Windows 8 and retains the user's installed applications, files and settings. Pricing for Windows To Go has not yet been confirmed.

20 Comments

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fingerbob69 10th July 2012, 12:38 Quote
With Windows To Go.... presumably if you turn on the computer with the usb already attached you get the choice? of booting into win7 or win8?

If the next time the usb isn't attached the computer boots win7, same as it always did, right?
Gareth Halfacree 10th July 2012, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerbob69
With Windows To Go.... presumably if you turn on the computer with the usb already attached you get the choice? of booting into win7 or win8? If the next time the usb isn't attached the computer boots win7, same as it always did, right?
Yup. It's a Live USB, basically: plug it into any computer, and there's your copy of Windows 8 along with all your favourite applications, all your files, bookmarks, settings and so forth. Unplug it and the PC goes back to normal. It's for hot-desking: no matter where you and and what PC you're using, everything's where you expect it to be. Install any new apps or save any files, and they're stored on the USB drive - so they're accessible when you plug the drive into a different machine. Unlike cloud-based services, it also works fine when there's no internet connection available.

It's something Linux has been offering for years, and I was wondering when Microsoft would catch up.
digitaldunc 10th July 2012, 13:38 Quote
Quote:
At the same event, Microsoft showed off its answer to Linux 'Live CD' distributions - entire operating systems which run off a CD, DVD or USB stick with no installation required - with Windows To Go. Sold as a 32GB USB drive, Windows To Go allows any Windows 7 computer to boot into Windows 8 and retains the user's installed applications, files and settings. Pricing for Windows To Go has not yet been confirmed.

I'm more interested in this than vanilla Windows 8.

Having a relatively modern, polished live OS with Microsofts support behind it would be great for tech work. Would also be good for college/school/work network machines which in the past I've had to personally disinfect or revert users stupid changes before they were usable.

Currently stuck with live distros of *nix or Windows XP, which is OK but they tend to fall over with more esoteric hardware configurations
Phil Rhodes 10th July 2012, 13:50 Quote
Yawn. Snore. Slumber. Bleah.
bdigital 10th July 2012, 14:27 Quote
So with windows to go.... How would you prevent your staff from bringing in their windows 8 build and running it instead of your corporate windows 7?

Can you validate a usb before your in windows?
digitaldunc 10th July 2012, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdigital
So with windows to go.... How would you prevent your staff from bringing in their windows 8 build and running it instead of your corporate windows 7?

Can you validate a usb before your in windows?

Locked BIOS and remove USB stick from the boot order. Not foolproof, but enough to deter casual users.
Nexxo 10th July 2012, 14:43 Quote
You can monitor and block USB memory stick access from Windows, allowing only certain recognised and approved memory sticks. Most NHS computers have this nowadays.
Harlequin 10th July 2012, 15:32 Quote
any idea of pricing as yet? and also any word of removing metro gui and adding a start button/pearl back?
Madness_3d 10th July 2012, 15:52 Quote
<insert win8 hate messages here/>

It's Vista Mk 2

Windows to Go sounds interesting, how well it works with older/unusual hardware setups will be interesting
Mikee 10th July 2012, 16:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdigital
So with windows to go.... How would you prevent your staff from bringing in their windows 8 build and running it instead of your corporate windows 7?

Can you validate a usb before your in windows?

Windows 8 Enterprise is required to create a Windows To Go USB stick (see page 36 of this PDF) so unless people are running the Enterprise edition at home it shouldn't really be a problem.

It's a shame really as I think it would be a really useful feature.
SchizoFrog 11th July 2012, 01:18 Quote
Is Windows Phone 8 still due to launch at the same time?
fluxtatic 11th July 2012, 08:18 Quote
Windows to Go does sound interesting - I spent a whole lot of time messing with BartPE (and still do on occasion - I still think what he did was absolutely stunning.)

However...it's Win8. And I need Enterprise to build it? Screw it - if happen across a torrent of Win8 Ent at some point, I'll likely mess around with it, but there's no way in hell I'll buy it.

Hmm...maybe I can convince my boss it would be greatly helpful for supporting users - not like she'd know the difference one way or the other.
sotu1 12th July 2012, 12:49 Quote
Windows to go sounds good, but I'm honestly far more interested in a real cloud OS that does everything and really really well.
<A88> 13th July 2012, 03:06 Quote
As a point of pedantry, could I kindly suggest that using the Windows 8 logo, not the 11 year old Windows XP one, may be more apt for Windows articles from now on :)
Gareth Halfacree 13th July 2012, 11:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
As a point of pedantry, could I kindly suggest that using the Windows 8 logo, not the 11 year old Windows XP one, may be more apt for Windows articles from now on :)
You're lucky I didn't use the Windows NT one I've still got in my images folder... :p
<A88> 13th July 2012, 12:52 Quote
Gareth Halfacree 13th July 2012, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Well, if you're gonna do a job properly...
Have you noticed how much more modern the logo looks (not the writing, mind...) than the current incarnation? The minimalist single-colour approach, the lack of symmetry, the rounded corners... I reckon Microsoft could do worse than bring the old logo back.
l3v1ck 16th July 2012, 22:39 Quote
I'm expecting Windows 7 to become the new XP. It's going to want to live forever ;)
Dave Lister 10th August 2012, 14:01 Quote
Windows to go sounds good but being stuck with that tile interface at every boot up has put me completely off so I'll wait and see what windows 9 has to offer... or take away !
sanelkovacevic 13th August 2012, 14:44 Quote
i am staying with windows 7 at least month after releasing windows 8.Then i will see the reviews just to be sure that there will not be any bugs on my machine :)
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