Orome1 writes "Microsoft today announced the global availability of Windows 8. Beginning Friday, Oct. 26, consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 has to offer, including a new user interface and a wide range of applications with the grand opening of the Windows Store. Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family — Windows RT — designed for ARM-based tablets and available pre-installed on new devices. In addition to Microsoft Office 2013, Windows RT is designed exclusively for apps in the new Windows Store. In addition to the range of new Windows-based devices available, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 are qualified to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$39.99." Also at Slash Cloud, where Nick Kolakowski writes: "If the operating system and its associated hardware capture the attention (and dollars) of mobile-device users, Microsoft will have successfully expanded the Windows brand to a new and rapidly growing market segment. But if it fails, and Apple and Google continue to rule the mobility space, then Microsoft is left with few alternatives."