Fri, Jul 20, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Microsoft takes on rivals Google, Apple with Windows 8

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO, California

Microsoft Corp on Wednesday announced that its next-generation operating system tailored for a world shifting from PCs to smartphones and tablets will be available on Oct. 26.

Windows unit boss Steven Sinofsky revealed the Windows 8 debut date at a sales meeting, Microsoft communications manager Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog post.

Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide, according to LeBlanc.

Microsoft has promised to make the new operating system available in August for computer, tablet or smartphone makers to build into hardware.

It “is simply the biggest deal for this company in at least 17 years,” Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said last week, referring to the time that has passed since the launch of the US firm launched the game-changing Windows 95 operating system.

“It’s the glue; it’s the foundation of everything Microsoft is built on,” Ballmer said.

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Microsoft reported that it has sold more than 630 million licenses of Windows 7 and that the software powers the majority of business desktop computers.

Windows 7 went public in October 2009.

The Washington-based computing giant has gone on record stating that its Surface tablets would hit the market when the Windows 8 operating system became publicly available.

Windows 8 will allow users to readily store and share personal data among various devices under the “SkyDrive” cloud computing service.

Rivals Apple Inc and Google Inc offer such services, which let people store digital data on servers in the Internet “cloud” and access files from devices of their choosing.

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