Microsoft is said to be finishing up work for Windows 8, which is now in consumer preview, and the software giant is expected to launch the new touch-centric operating system in October. At that time point, new tablets and PCs will also debut alongside Windows 8, which will be launching some six months after Apple debuted the third generation iPad.
According to the latest report on Bloomberg, the first batch of devices to go on sale will include those powered by Intel’s x86 chipsets as well as those with ARM-based processors. Windows 8 marks the first time that Microsoft will be supporting ARM-based chipsets, which are commonly found on many modern smartphones and consumer tablets–such as Apple’s iPad–due to the chip’s low energy requirements.
The number of Windows 8-powered ARM machines will pale in comparison to the number of systems released with Intel chips as Microsoft had implemented tight restrictions for ARM. According to the publication, there will only be five ARM devices, and three of which will be tablets.
The October announcement comes ahead of the holiday shopping season and will help Microsoft enter the competitive tablet space, which is being led by Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and a plethora of Android tablets. Both Apple and Google will be holding developer conference this summer and both companies are likely to announce new mobile operating system revisions that will add new capabilities to their slates, so Microsoft’s later release will put increased pressure on Windows 8 to be competitive.
Windows 8 was designed with touch in mind and borrows HTML 5 apps along with the Metro UI from Windows Phone.