“The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on 26 October, 2012,” read the filing. “At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.”
Microsoft pledges that Windows 8 will work equally well on both tablets and PCs as it seeks to increase its presence on the tablet market amid slumping PC sales. Users can switch between a tiled interface and the more recognisable desktop mode at any time.
Central to this plan is support for ARM-based devices, with Windows RT the first Microsoft operating system to work on the British-designed architecture. Microsoft, which recorded its first ever quarterly loss last week, says it is prepared to use its financial muscle to ensure that Windows it is a success.