Microsoft has finally announced an official launch date for its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system: Thursday, Oct. 25.

On that day, the company will hold an event in New York City, according to invitations distributed to the media today. But just what it has planned isn’t clear. The invite provides no details beyond the event’s date, location and a simple tag line: “You’re invited to celebrate. Windows 8.” But presumably we’ll see quite a bit of fanfare there. After all, with the simultaneous release of its new Surface tablet, this is one of the most important launches in Microsoft’s history, as CEO Steve Ballmer noted in a recent interview with the Seattle Times.”