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Windows 8 set for October launch: report

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Reuters

(Read caption) Windows 8 may launch as soon as October, according to one new report. Here, a Microsoft store in San Diego.

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Earlier this year, Microsoft launched a consumer preview of Windows 8, the latest iteration of its popular operating system, and the first to be designed for cross-platform use. Now, according to Bloomberg News – which cites "people with knowledge of the schedule" – we have a (possible) release date: October of 2012. Is the timing propitious? It is. 

"The timing," notes Dina Bass of Bloomberg, "would let Microsoft target Christmas shoppers with the new software, which works with touch-screen devices as well as laptops and desktop PCs."

Unlike past versions of Windows, Windows 8 has a tiled interface called Metro, which allows users to access and control the OS via a flick of the finger. (Old-schoolers shouldn't fret: Windows 8 will still work just fine with a mouse.) And early reviews of the OS have been largely positive. 

"It looks like Windows 8 is certainly going to take some getting used to," writes the team at PC Advisor. "But underneath that daunting new interface are a wealth of smart decisions that go a long way towards dragging the behemoth that is Windows into the future." 

In related news, Microsoft has doled out a kind of beta version of Office 15, a new software suite that should launch in conjunction with Windows 8. Paul Thurrott, who runs Supersite For Windows, a popular tech site, got his hands on Office 15, and he reports that the suite sits "visually, between the new Metro style and the traditional desktop." More on that here

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