Microsoft's newest update, Windows 8, will be available to users in October, according to Bloomberg News. The operating system, tailored to the tablet-heavy market, will be finished over the summer and available in the fall.
Microsoft will be using the same kind of processors found in Apple's iPad devices. And the Christmas season rolling in just a couple of months after the launch will set the stage for holiday competition. Analysts believe that Windows 8 would particularly target the MacBook Air Pro, according to SlashGear.
The online tech publication reported that a touch screen showdown would be in the works for the two leading computer companies. Manufacturers creating devices for the Windows world will be considering touch-friendly laptops, while Apple's newest fighter will likely have a traditional non-touch display intact, wrote Chris Burns of SlashGear.
And the company certainly has high ambitions for the holiday season. Bloomberg reported that Windows 8 aims to take back sales lost to the iPad and reinvigorate the sluggish PC market.
If they miss the September-October time frame, they're going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012, Gartner Inc. analyst Michael Gartenberg said to Bloomberg. The last thing Microsoft wants to have is a situation where there are no compelling Windows tablets at a time when the new iPad looks like it's going to be a good seller for the holidays.
A handful of the early systems will run on a version of Windows 8 called Windows on Arm (WoA), which is ideal for mobile devices. The rest will run on processors from Intel and AMD that have been present in the Microsoft system for years.
The new operating system will also sport an up-to-date Metro interface, with apps represented in tile form on the user's home screen. This makes the upgrade optimal for tablet and touch screen devices rather than traditional PCs. However, users on the Intel-based platform will have the choice of working in the typical Windows Explorer format or the new Metro interface.
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft said that they plan to have both ARM and Intel-based systems available when the new OS is launched.
Our collective goal is for them to ship at the same time, said President of Windows Steven Sinofsky to Bloomberg. I wouldn't be saying it's a goal if I didn't think we could do it.
Will the dual-edition operating system succeed with consumers? It is unclear how Windows 8 will compete with the iPad, but the holiday season sales will decide.