Microsoft has officially confirmed that its flagship Windows 8 operating system will roll out to manufacturers the first week of August and hit store shelves for the masses in late October 2012.
Meanwhile, Microsoft exec Tami Reller confirmed that Windows 7 sales continue apace, even as anticipation builds for the latest iteration of the popular operating system.
According to Redmond exec Tami Reller, Microsoft has thus far sold 630 million Windows 7 licenses - up from 600 million at the beginning of June.
Fortunately, those purchasing a Windows 7 PC today will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $14.95, instead of the standard $40. In addition, access to Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud platform will be offered to Windows 8 customers.
Microsoft Windows 8 is designed to run on both x86 and ARM tablets, as well as traditional PCs. Tablets powered by the versatile operating system are are projected to account for 4.1% of media tablet sales this year, and increase to 11.8% of sales by the end of 2016.
"IT departments will see Windows 8 as the opportunity to deploy tablets on an OS that is familiar to them and with devices offered by many enterprise-class suppliers," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi opined in a recently published analysis.
"This means that we see Windows 8 as a strong IT-supplied offering more so than an OS with a strong consumer appeal."
Milanesi also noted that Android tablets are forecast to account for approximately 31.9% percent of media tablet sales in 2012. Further Android adoption, says Milanesi, is currently constrained by a lack of applications dedicated to tablets and their specific capabilities.