Microsoft to launch Windows 8 on Oct. 26


(CBS News) Microsoft sent out a "save the date" to the press on Monday for an event planned for Oct. 25 in New York City. The new Windows 8 operating system is said to be made available on Oct. 26.

"You're invited to celebrate Windows 8," in the invite reads.

Microsoft previewed a version of Windows 8 at the BUILD conference in September 2011.

Featuring a more tablet-friendly design, Windows 8 is a complete departure from previous versions. Icons are now large tiles. There is full touch screen support and a multi-touch on-screen keyboard.

Windows 8 will come in four versions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Enterprise. Windows 7 had six versions.

Windows 8 and Window 8 Pro are for x86-64 computers and tablets, running on AMD64 or Intel 64 chips. Features of the new operating system include mail and calendar apps, Internet Explorer 10 and the option to switch between touch screen, keyboard or mouse.

Windows RT is for computers and tablets running on the ARM processor. This is a brand new addition to the Windows family, so no upgrade is available and you can't purchase the software separately. Windows RT is expected to only be available pre-installed on computers and tablets.

Windows Enterprise is the final edition of the new operating system. This version of Windows is expected to have all features of Windows 8, but integrates features for IT organization.