Microsoft on Wednesday has taken the wraps off the official release date of the next version of its operating system, the Windows 8. Announced during the Redmond-based software giant’s annual sales meeting, through the company’s President of the Windows division Steven Sinofsky – the final build of Windows 8 will be available commercially on October 26th, 2012!

For the uninitiated, Windows 8 was initially released to the public on February 29th as “Consumer Preview” and the next version dubbed as “Release Preview” was made available for public download on May 28th. Microsoft is expected to unveil the “Release to Manufacturing” (RTM) build of the OS sometime in early August.

PC users would be able to get Windows 8 either through an upgrade option or through a new PC. It was initially announced that Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users may qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 (you need to check version compatibility though). The new Microsoft OS will be available in 4 editions, namely: the Windows 8 itself, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows RT. The first three versions are the ones we’ll be seeing in full-packed computer systems, while Windows RT is dedicated for devices like tablet PC’s rocking ARM processors.

Again, you save the date; the general availability of Windows 8 would be on October 26th! [via]