Windows 8 Released to Manufacturers Now, Released to You Oct. 26

Image credit: Acer, Lenovo, Asus

Continuing its series of summer announcements, Microsoft confirmed today that Windows 8 is ready to go. Well, almost ready to go. It has released the final software code to its original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), like Lenovo, Acer, HP, and Asus, which will now build tablets and PCs running the next version of Windows.

"Today marks an important milestone in the Windows 8 project," Steven Sinofsky, Windows 8 head, wrote on the Building Windows blog. "The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next milestone will be the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012."

Microsoft also announced that it was beginning to accept paid apps at the Windows Store. "We're opening the Store up for company registrations and are now accepting paid apps," Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President of Windows Web Services, said in a separate post. The Windows Store will include apps for Windows 8 computers, including Office 2013.

Microsoft's Surface tablets will hit shelves on Oct. 26 along with a number of other Windows 8 devices, including tablets, tablet/laptop hybrids, and regular laptop and desktop computers.