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Windows 8 Pro will be available for download at 12:01 a.m.

Micosoft fans, the time has come -- Windows 8 will be available tonight at midnight, and you can pick it up via download or variety of new devices.

Microsoft sent out its official Windows 8 press release today announcing that the new operating system will be available at 12:01 a.m. on October 26. Alongside the Windows 8 launch will be the grand opening of the Windows Store, where customers can purchase apps for the latest OS.

Windows 8 Pro will be available to download here for $39.99 USD (Or $69.99 if you want it shipped to you). For those who would prefer to buy Windows 8 from retailers, there's the option to buy Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. Companies can also buy Windows 8 Enterprise for all business needs.

Windows RT will also be available at 12:01. For those who aren't up to speed, Windows RT is a variation of Windows 8 that is specifically meant for ARM-based tablets. It was built for apps in the new Windows Store, such as Microsoft Office 2013.

According to Microsoft, there are over 1,000 certified PCs and tablets that will feature its new OS. Some of these include the Dell XPS 10 convertible, the Acer Aspire S7-391, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 and the HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4. These devices and more will be available at retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon and Staples.

For those with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, an uprgrade to Windows 8 Pro will be avilable for $39.99 USD via download through the end of January. If you bought a Windows 7 machine after June 2 and plan to buy one before January 31, 2013, customers in over 140 markets can download Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 USD using the Windows Upgrade Offer here.

"We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. "Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love."

Windows 8 offers the new user interface (formerly called Metro UI) that has been a topic of debate amongst consumers and business folks. Some love the new colorful tiles while others say it is more suitable for mobile devices like tablets only.

Microsoft recently announced its Surface tablet, which is Microsoft-built hardware running the new Windows RT OS. The new tablet will include a 10.6-inch display, an ARM-based processor (NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3), 32GB or 64GB storage options, 2GB of memory, 1366x768 resolution, 720p rear- and front-facing cameras, a USB port and a microSDXC slot. Also, the tablet has a VaporMg magnesium casing and a built-in kickstand with the option to purchase a touch cover or type cover keyboard/screen protector. It's $499 for the 32GB, $599 for the 32GB with touch cover, or $699 for the 64GB with touch cover.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was recently quoted saying that Windows 8 and the new Surface tablet are "incredible" products, and are "key to where personal computing is going."

Source: Microsoft

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Windows Media Center
By Mitch101 on 10/25/2012 6:14:38 PM , Rating: 3
For a limited time, get Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free **

RE: Windows Media Center
By augiem on 10/25/2012 9:09:44 PM , Rating: 1
Limited time? Gee whiz, now we're stuck with ModernUI AND we lose features too?

RE: Windows Media Center
By B3an on 10/26/2012 4:27:45 AM , Rating: 3
Theres this thing called the "desktop" on Win 8. It does everything 7 does, often quicker, and adds many features.

And WMC is a free add-on for a limited time. After that its $10. I'd rather not have WMC included by default because like most people i don't use it so it's just pointless bloat.

RE: Windows Media Center
By bigi on 10/26/2012 8:56:22 AM , Rating: 1
I actually got it for WMC because it will go to my HTPC. Your post is a pointless bloat now.

RE: Windows Media Center
By NellyFromMA on 10/26/2012 12:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
His post isn't pointless bloat. You can get it for free for a limited time. Enjoy! Why the angst?

RE: Windows Media Center
By augiem on 10/26/2012 2:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
WMC doesn't have to be preinstalled. Many MS features have to be added through Add/Remove Windows features. Your pointless bloat argument is not valid.

Media Center has been free since its launch on XP. Now you're happy to be forced to pay $10 for it? Sounds like you just don't want to hear ANYTHING negative about Windows 8. Rose colored glasses.

RE: Windows Media Center
By hankw on 10/26/2012 2:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
You could look at it that way. Or you can look at it from the angle where they could have also included "for free" and upped the price of Windows 8 by $5-10 so that you pay for it whether you want it or not.

RE: Windows Media Center
By Mitch101 on 10/26/2012 5:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Id pay $10.00 for it to be supported. The software is reliable and does its job well.

There is also MediaPortal

The alternatives are Sage and Beyond TV which carry a hefty price tag.

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