Windows 8 to be launched on October 26

Microsoft's Windows 7 successor will be available to both new and upgrading customers on October 26, Microsoft has announced. Windows 8, in addition to doing all that productivity stuff people buy operating systems for (yawn), is also replete with a suite of new features that make life more interesting for Xbox and Windows Phone gamers.

SmartGlass, for instance, blasts ancillary information about the game/tv show/movie your Xbox is playing to your mobile device or tablet, and allows for continuous playback of movies and shows between devices. All first-party 360 games will support SmartGlass going forward, so you may want to keep an eye out for new Windows 8 devices if expanded Halo experiences are your jam.