Windows 8 date set

Microsoft has revealed that Windows 8 will be released on October 26th. The declaration was made at the firm’s annual sales meeting. It has described the update as the most important redesign of its interface in more than a decade.

The announcement was Microsoft releases its fourth quarter earnings report. Analysts say it may post its first ever loss after writing down the value of a troubled takeover. It paid $6.3bn for the online advertising service Aquantive in 2007 but has said the service did not perform as expected. As a result its earnings will be offset by a $6.2 billion charge.

Windows 8 includes a touch-controlled interface dubbed Metro as well as a more traditional desktop. Some consumers will have delayed buying new computers ahead of the release, depressing Microsoft’s sales in the meantime.

Part of Microsoft’s goal in the initial months will be to eat into sales of rivals’ tablet computers.

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