Microsoft has announced that the next version of its Windows operating system will be available starting October 26th.
Windows 8 represents a major shift. The Start Menu has been replaced with a new touchscreen-friendly Start Screen which takes up the full screen. The operating system also introduces a new full-screen user interface called Metro which is also designed for touchscreens.
In other words, Windows 8 is designed at least as much for tablets as it is for desktop and notebook computers.
Microsoft will offer both upgrade and full retail versions of Windows 8, and many users who bought new Windows 7 computers this year will be able to upgrade for just $14.99, thanks to an upgrade offer from Microsoft. Everyone else will be able to upgrade for $40.
That’s a pretty good price by Microsoft upgrade standards. Of course Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and other Linux-based operating systems usually offer updates for free.