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Microsoft announces Windows 8 release, new acquisition

Microsoft Windows 8 to be generally available by end of October

Microsoft announces Windows 8 release, new acquisition
Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing partners in August.

Microsoft has announced that the Windows 8 operating system will be available to its OEM partners (‘release to manufacturing' or RTM) by the first week of August, with general availability expected by end of October.

Tami Reller, corporate vice president and CFO, Windows and Windows Live Division, told Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), taking place in Toronto, that with RTM, Microsoft would also be enabling the commerce platform so its developer partners can start selling apps.

Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.

Also at WPC, Microsoft announced the acquisition of large-scale, multi-touch display specialist Perceptive Pixel (PPI).

PPI is focused on R&D and production of large scale screens, and the deal is intended to add to Microsoft's hardware capabilities, particularly in touchscreen. PPI produces workstations and wall solutions, including those used by CNN for interactive presentations. Terms of the deal were not revealed.

"The acquisition of PPI allows us to draw on our complementary strengths, and we're excited to accelerate this market evolution," said Kurt DelBene, president, Office Division for Microsoft. "PPI's large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration."

"We are incredibly excited to be working together on our mutual passion to build technologies that enable people to collaborate and communicate," said Jeff Han, founder of PPI. "By joining Microsoft, we will be able to take advantage of the tremendous momentum of the Microsoft Office Division, tightly interoperate with its products, and deliver this technology to a very broad set of customers."

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