Windows 8 to hit enterprise desktops from August

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Windows 8 to hit enterprise desktops from August

Retail release in October.

Microsoft has unveiled plans to release its Windows 8 operating system to enterprises from next month.

The successor to the popular Windows 7 system would reach release to manufacturing stage by early August, the company told its annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Canada overnight.

The manufacturing stage means enterprise customers under Microsoft’s Software Assurance volume licensing program will get early access to Windows 8 starting in August.

The enterprise version of the operating system will be locked to subscribers of the licensing program.

Windows chief marketing officer Tami Reller said the operating system would be available in retail stores in 109 languages and 231 markets by the end of October.

Reller did not provide an exact date for the release of Windows 8, however.

According to Reller, Microsoft will turn on its Windows Store — providing access to third party applications built for the system — at the same time as Windows 8 reaches release to manufacturing, so that app developers can start earning money.

Windows 8 will replace Windows 7, which has sold a total 630 million licenses to date. The software giant claimed more than half of all enterprise desktops around the world run the operating system.

Microsoft is expected to release the Intel-based Windows 8 Pro version of its Surface tablet at the same time as the new operating system launches, but Reller made no mention of the new device.

Bloomberg reported Samsung was working on an ARM-based tablet running the pared down version of Windows 8 for an October release.

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