July 18, 2012 at 4:45 PM ET
Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's head of Windows, just announced at a sales meeting that Windows 8 would ship on October 26. We knew it would be October, but now we know exactly when during that month. This may mean that the Windows 8 RT Surface tablets will ship then too, as Microsoft said as much in June, but we'll have to verify that.
As a reminder, the upgrade to Windows 8 on an existing Windows computer will cost just $40, though buying an upgrade DVD will cost $70. However, since the biggest benefits of Windows 8 are in the touch interface, your better bet is to buy a system — like the Surface tablet — that'll let you get digital (and by that I mean, "busy with your fingers").