Seattle: Microsoft Corp said its new, touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system will be on sale October 26, almost exactly three years after the launch of Windows 7.
That means customers will be able to upgrade old PCs to the new system on that date, or buy new hardware with the software already installed at stores such as Best Buy.
The company generally does not announce public release dates until close to the event, but has often stated that it aims for a new version of Windows every three years.
Microsoft is releasing the software as a downloadable upgrade that day for PC owners, and letting PC makers start selling computers with Windows 8 the same day.
As an upgrade for users of Windows XP, Vista or 7, Windows will cost $40. That's much less than Microsoft Corp. has charged for previous operating system upgrades. People who bought a Windows 7 computer on June 2 or later can upgrade for $15.
Microsoft said earlier this month Windows 8 would be released by the end of October.
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