Expect Windows 8 in October

Microsoft is aiming for October to release the commercial version of Windows 8, based on comments attributed to a Microsoft spokeswoman at CES.

During a demo of the new operating system, public relations director of the Windows Business Group Janelle Poole said, "Windows releases come round about every three years and this year will be three years in October since we launched Windows 7," according to a posting by Pocket-lint. "So I think that's a good guideline to consider."

CES: Ballmer hawks Windows 8, Kinect

Microsoft has been reluctant to say exactly when it will release Windows 8, but Poole seemed ready to offer a strong hint. "We haven't talked about the release date and we generally don't. We are talking milestone to milestone, so for us right now we're talking about the next milestone being the consumer preview happening in late February," she says.

Windows 8 (See also: "8 hot features in Windows 8") will feature touchscreen navigation and commands as well as support for tablets. Not all apps that run on Windows 7 will be compatible with the touchscreen capabilities, but mouse and keyboard devices will enable all apps that ran on Windows 7.

The new operating system shoots for power efficiency, better security and compatibility with ARM-based chips (read tablets and next-generation PCs), all of which could make Windows 8 attractive to businesses.

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