Windows 8 is coming
Brace yourselves: Windows 8 is coming. Today's tech news roundup goes over the new Windows operating system, available Friday Oct. 26. Be sure to read up on CNET's complete guide to using Windows 8 before upgrading. And if you are in the market for one of the many Windows 8 computers, don't get tripped up by the different versions of Windows 8. Just remember: Anything with "Windows RT" will not run your older Windows software. The Windows RT version of the Surface tablet is already facing shipping delays. However, if you live by one of the 23 Microsoft stores, you can reserve a Surface for pickup on Oct. 26.
Windows 8 isn't the only thing we're bracing for next week. Apple will announce details about the iPad Mini on Tuesday, and as usual, CNET will be covering it live. iPad trade-ins are heating up before the big announcement. You'll find that buy-back sites pay more on Apple gadgets before a new product launch, so get your quote now. And if you choose to sell it to NextWorth, you can get 10 percent more on iPods and iPads with the code "MINI" at checkout.
There are only a few more days left to prepare for Halloween. A new gadget from ThinkGeek can spice up your costume with sound effects. The Mega Stomp Panic comes loaded with sounds for a zombie, gigantic monster, cowboy, knight, pirate, and two types of giant robots.
My favorite sounds were of the city-stomping monster, spurs on the gunslinger, and hydraulics of robot legs (awesome for any Iron Man costume). And, of course, who doesn't love the Mario-like sounds of the video game hero!
Microsoft Surface tablet announced
Microsoft has just announced their brand new Surface tablet – while it is not the Xbox Surface that was part of the rumor mill, it is still an achievement considering how the Surface package has been miniaturized into a chassis that measures just 9.3mm thin. Not only that, it will sport a USB 2.0 port, although we do think that one is not asking too much for a USB 3.0 port, right? The beveled edges that have been chiseled at a 22-degree angle certainly make the entire device look real good – especially when it comes in a full magnesium case. We have since published a hands-on preview of the Surface for Windows 8 RT tablet.