Windows 8 and a fleet of products that work with the new computer operating system arrived in stores today. The roster includes Microsoft’s first tablet computer.
The Windows 8 operating system organizes a computer’s desktop icons in a format that’s similar to the layout of of Microsoft mobile applications. The new operating system will cost $40. However, consumers who purchased a desktop computer or a notebook computer from June 2, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013, that has Windows 7 preinstalled can upgrade to Windows 8 for $15.
Surface, which is Microsoft’s first tablet, has 32GB–64GB of storage and has 2GB of RAM. Surface will run on Windows RT, which is a Windows 8-oriented operating system that’s designed for portable devices, such as tablets, that use an ARM processor. Surface also has front- and rear-facing 720p HD cameras.
A 32GB version of the tablet costs $500. A 32GB version that includes a device cover (it doubles as a keyboard) costs $600. A 64GB version with a device cover costs $700. A device cover that’s purchased individually will cost $130.
Also, a several computer manufacturers announced last week that their desktop and notebook computers that have Windows 8 preinstalled will be available starting today.