NEW YORK: Microsoft said on Thursday its "reimagined" Windows 8 will launch Friday in 37 languages and 140 worldwide markets, as the tech giant unveiled the new version of its computer operating system.
"We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs," said Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer in announcing the new system of Windows designed to help the transition to growing mobile Internet use.
At an event, Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows division announced the ability of Windows users to upgrade to Windows 8 online and in the store. The updates start at $39.99 for consumers.
Sinofsky claims that Windows 8 has a better battery life, , faster boot time, smaller memory footprint, strong work with partners, and compatibility with Windows 7hardware and software.
"Windows 8 is designed to work with mouse and keyboard, as well as touch. That's the big selling point of the new OS," he said. "The potential market for Windows is the largest of any platform," he added.
"You will see fully capable PCs for Windows 8 for under $300," Sinofsky said.
The software giant has gambled by changing long familiar user interface features to make Windows 8 compatible with trends toward keeping programs and data in the Internet "cloud" and relying on mobile gadgets at work and at home