Microsoft revealed Monday that Windows 8 will be in the hands of its OEMs during the first week in August, with a general release in October.
The announcement that a Release To Manufacturers (RTM) edition of the program would be available next month was made by Tami Reller, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows, at a conference for the company's partners held in Toronto Monday.
Microsoft's partners will get an early release of the operating system so they can have it on their hardware when the OS becomes generally available in October.
Reller also noted that Microsoft's enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits will have access to Windows 8 bits in August, too.
At the time the RTM is released, she continued, Microsoft will turn on the commerce platform for its Windows app store so developers will be able to start earning money for their apps. Up to now, apps at the store have been free.
Reller also noted that Windows 7 has been a bestseller for the company, with 630 million copies sold and more than half of desktops in the enterprise using the OS.
Earlier this month, Microsoft made its intentions to make Windows 8 a swift hit once it's released by announcing that legacy Windows users will be able to upgrade to the new OS for $40 via an online connection.