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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Free Report

has confirmed that its eagerly-anticipated

Windows 8

operating system will be generally available in October, marking a significant milestone for the tech giant.

Seen as a

driver

of top-line growth, Windows 8 is expected to be a

positive catalyst

for financial results toward the end of the year.

Critics, however, have

warned

that Windows 8 will not be able to halt

Apple's

undefined

growing popularity with consumers.

Key Windows 8 features include a new user interface with touchscreen capabilities, Xbox Live integration and more efficient power usage. A version of Windows 8 called Windows RT will support chips designed by

ARM

(ARMH)

.

Do you think Windows 8 will be a winner? Tell us what you think in

TheStreet's

poll (and use this story's comments section to provide more detail on your response):

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

Follow @jamesjrogers

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