Microsoft announced the time frame for Windows 8′s mass-market release Monday in Toronto. A specific sales date in October wasn’t provided.
Most industry analysts expected Windows 8 would go on sale in the fall to ensure that the machines running on the operating system would be available for the holiday shopping season. Consumers and businesses who don’t want to buy new computers will be able to buy Windows 8 and upgrade their systems.
Applications will appear in a mosaic of tiles on Windows 8. Microsoft also designed the operating system so it can run on personal computers or touch-based tablet computers.
Microsoft plans to make its own tablet running on Windows 8 to compete against Apple’s hot-selling iPad. The company hasn’t yet announced a price for its tablet, which will be called the Surface. It also will be competing against a variety of other tablets, including the Kindle Fire from Amazon.com and the Nexus 7, which is being released later this month by Google.