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Microsoft lines Windows 8 up for an October release

Microsoft Windows 8 is set for release some time in October, with Windows 7 users able to upgrade at a low cost.

Global software giant Microsoft has revealed that its new, exciting operating system (OS) Windows 8 is set for release this October.

Although a specific date has not been announced, the OS looks to be launched almost exactly three years after Windows 7 hit the shelves and 20 years since the inaugural Windows for Workgroups 3.1.

Microsoft's Tami Reller, chief marketing officer of the Windows division, made the announcement at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, adding that the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version will be made available in the first week of August.

This gives companies a couple of months to prepare their systems for the new operating system before it is made available to the wider public.

Microsoft is hoping to emulate the success of Windows 7 with the new release, which managed to sell 630 million copies. Windows 7 users may be convinced to upgrade due to its sheer affordability.

Anyone that buys a Windows 7 computer between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 can register to receive Windows 8 Pro for just £14.99.

Its release will mark Microsoft's foray into the tablet market due to its focus on touch screen compatibility, allowing it to compete with the ever popular Apple iPad and Google Android rivals with its Microsoft Surface, which is to be made available from the OS' release.

One of the biggest changes is the utilisation of the Metro design language and the Metro user interface that will redesign the start screen interface to one similar to the Windows Phone 7, including live application tiles.

Authentication techniques have been changed, with users able to log in by drawing a picture using three gestures or a four-digit PIN.

Windows to Go is a new feature that allows users to create a bootable version of Windows 8 on a USB drive, containing all of an individual's files, programs and settings.