Microsoft just announced the release date for the long-awaited Windows 8: consumers can get it on October 26th of this year — that's a Friday, for those marking their calendars. Steven Sinosfky made this announcement at Microsoft's annual sales meeting, and the Windows blog quickly shared the news. This launch date will apply to both upgrades or installs on a new PC. Microsoft's been hinting about October as a release date timeframe for months now, but now the countdown can truly begin in earnest.