File photo: Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live, gives the keynote address and a preview of Windows 8 at the Microsoft Build Windows conference.

San Francisco - Microsoft will release its new operating system Windows 8 in October, allowing the software company plenty of time to target shoppers over the holiday season, according to a report on Tuesday by Bloomberg News.

Quoting people with knowledge of the schedule, the report said that the rollout would include 40 devices running Intel chips and less than five running ARM chips, which are widely favoured in mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers.

It will be the first time that Windows is available on the ARM architecture - a move that Microsoft hopes will help it belatedly compete with Apple in tablet computer sales.

No details have been released on who will make the ARM-based tablets, though likely candidates include Samsung, Asus and Nokia. Bloomberg said that Microsoft limited the number of ARM-based devices due to “rigorous quality control.”

Microsoft has scheduled a partner event for April, when it will share details of the rollout, the report said. - Sapa-dpa