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Microsoft Officially Launches Windows 8 Final & Surface With Windows RT

As you all know, Apple have taken the center stage this week by announcing the launch of multiple hardware updates. However, the Cupertino company isn't the only tech giant who is releasing something big this week. After what seemed to be an eternity of wait, coupled with innumerable rumors and speculations, Microsoft has finally launched the next major iteration of its flagship product, Windows 8. As of this posting, customers who have been eager to try out the final, official version of metro-fied goodness of Windows 8 can now download and buy the operating system for the PCs. Not only that, new PCs have been announced as well. More details after the jump.

Windows 8 Logo
Today, Microsoft’s official launch event for Windows 8 took place in New York City. According to Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division President, the latest version of Windows went through 1,240,000,000 hours of public testing that span 190 countries. “No product anywhere receives this kind of testing anywhere in the world,” he added. According to Microsoft, Windows 8 is now available for over 1,000 certified PCs. The Redmond-based company overhauled the all-familiar Windows interface and developed an all-new interface optimized for the often mentioned "Post-PC era." This is in-line with the focus of Windows 8 which is aimed to be touchscreen-friendly. Apart from announcing the Windows 8 launch, Microsoft also showcased new PCs from companies like Dell, Samsung, ASUS and HP.
Windows 8 Pro
In a separate show, Microsoft also officially launched the Surface RT, the company's very own competitor to the tablet market. Those who have placed their preorders for the Windows 8 RT-enabled Surface should be able to receive their package by tomorrow. The said tablet is available in two flavors, one with 32GB of built-in storage and the other comes with 64GB storage. The 32GB variant starts at $499 and the 64GB model comes bundled with the Touch Cover keyboard for $699. The Surface RT will be available starting 10pm in the United States.
Microsoft Surface RT
So just can existing PC users be able to upgrade to Windows 8? The system for transitioning Windows 8 that covers 140+ markets and 37 different languages is already in place. There will be two main versions of Windows 8 which will be going on sale - Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. For businesses and organizations, Windows 8 Enterprise will be their go-to solution. Windows RT has been exclusively integrated with ARM-based tablets like the earlier mentioned Surface RT. In order to upgrade, you can choose to do it online by visiting windows.com/shop, or you can purchase the physical copy from your local retailer.

For those who are running older versions of Windows such as Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, you can upgrade online for only $39.99. You better do it sooner than later because the offer only lasts until January 31, 2013. In addition, if you have bought your Windows 7 system between June 2012 and now, you can upgrade for the discounted price of $14.99.

So what do you think of Microsoft's offering? Will you be getting a Surface RT? Or perhaps, you'll take the plunge and upgrade to Windows 8 official?

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