Microsoft said its "reimagined" Windows 8 will launch on 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," Microsoft chief Steve
Ballmer said on Thursday in announcing the new system of Windows designed to help the transition to growing mobile Internet use.
"Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love."
Windows 8 will be available for download beginning at 12:01 am local time worldwide and at retail stores.
Microsoft also launched Windows RT, designed for tablets and available pre-installed on new devices including its own Surface tablet, which also goes on sale Friday.
Microsoft reported that pre-sales of Windows 8 have outstripped those of its predecessor by 40 percent.
The software giant 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.