Today, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 8 for its customers in India and around the world. Beginning Friday, October 26, consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 has to offer: a beautiful new UI, a wide range of apps with the grand opening of the Windows Store, available on a variety of Windows 8 certified PCs and tablets.
Windows 8 PCs and tablets will be available in India from 14 OEM partners – Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HCL, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, RP Infosystems, Sai Info System, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Wipro and Zenith Computers on a variety of form factors - from tablets and hybrids to laptops and ultrabooks, on both touch and non-touch devices. In India, over 250 Windows 8 enabled devices, including 23 completely new SKUs of Windows 8 PCs are available across 100 cities and more than 2500 retail stores.
“With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is unveiling a reimagined Windows to the world,” said Mr. Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. “Whether you want a tablet or a PC, whether you want to consume or create, whether you want to work or play – Windows 8 delivers a personalized experience that fits your unique style and needs.”
Windows 8 comes with a new smooth and intuitive start screen and tiles that are brimming with content, and update in real time. Windows 8 is natively cloud-connected and users only need to sign in once with their Microsoft account, to ensure that all the things they care about most including mails, calendars, contact, pictures etc. are seamlessly synced across multiple devices. Further, Windows 8 comes with a reimagined browser, Internet Explorer 10 that is touch-ready and delivers a full screen browsing experience.
Windows 8 will be available in two versions at retail, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. And for our business customers who have signed up for software assurance, Windows 8 Enterprise offers new possibilities in mobile productivity with features like Windows To Go, DirectAccess, and BranchCache, as well as enhanced end-to-end security with features including BitLocker and AppLocker. Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family designed for ARM-based tablets, Windows RT, which will be available pre-installed on new devices.
With this launch, the Windows Store is now open and a plethora of global and local apps will be available for download. In India, a range of immersive, free and paid apps can be downloaded including Bharat Matrimony, BigFlix, BookMyShow, Bookyourtable, Burrp, Dhingana, Fastrack Tees, Flyte MP3, Gaana, Goibibo, Hindustan Times, ICICI Bank iMobile, ICICIDirect, JustEat, MakeMyTrip Explore, MapmyIndia, my airtel, NDTV Play, PVR Cinemas, Tarla Dalal, The Times of India, Yahoo Cricket, and Zovi, among many others.
In addition to the range of new devices available, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. From 2 June 2012 until 31January 2013, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, are qualified to download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of Rs. 1,999. And Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013 can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of Rs. 699 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available over here.
Meanwhile, Microsoft did not disclose any information on the release of the much awaited Microsoft Surface tablet in India. The officials denied to comment on the same, and informed that India was not among those countries where the tablet is scheduled to get launched in the first phase of release in eight countries worldwide. However, Microsoft did confirm the list of new Windows 8 based devices that will be released in India along with their price tags. Have a look, at the list of tablets and hybrid devices that are based on the new Windows 8 OS over here.