Microsoft Confirms Windows 8 Availability

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Microsoft ( MSFT) has confirmed that its eagerly-anticipated Windows 8 software will become generally available in October.

Speaking at Microsoft's Worldwide Partners' Conference in Toronto, Tami Reller, the CFO of Windows and Windows Live, said that consumers can get their hands on the product by the end of October. The software, she explained, will release to manufacturers (RTM) during the first week of August.

Seen as a driver of top-line growth, Windows 8 is expected to be a positive catalyst to the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant's financial results toward the end of the year.

Previously, Microsoft had not given a specific date for Windows 8 general availability, but was aiming to have the software on the market in time for the holiday season. There had, however, been rumors of October availability.

In her keynote on Monday, Reller described Windows 8 as enterprise-ready. The executive also noted that the availability date comes in conjunction with RTM, a Windows 8 commerce platform will go live so that developers can start earning money for their apps.

Microsoft is busily adding flesh to the bones of its Windows 8 strategy. Last week, the software giant confirmed that it will cost users just $39.99 for Windows 8 Pro if they upgrade from a previous version of Windows.

Shares of Microsoft, which have gained more than 15% this year, slipped 0.55% to $30.02 on Monday.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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