This is the countdown Microsoft has been waiting for.
As the clock struck midnight on Friday (October 26) in Tokyo, sales kicked off for its latest flag-ship product, Windows 8.
Japan is one of the first time zones to see the release of Microsoft's new operating system.
The company is hoping Windows 8 will resuscitate its fortunes after losing ground to Apple and Google in mobile computing.
"What we are trying to do with Windows 8 is to market it as a cool and hip product. That's our message we're trying to get across. At the same time, of course, we want to satisfy the needs of all our corporate clients," Microsoft Japan President, Yasuyuki Higuchi, told Reuters at a pre-launch event in the Japanese capital.
Microsoft is betting that the new software will break its heavy reliance on PC sales which are expected to dip for the first time this year since 2001.
The company's main goal is to show it can master the new touch-optimized mobile forms of computing pioneered by Apple and Google.
The new design dispenses with the start button and features square tiles for apps.
Microsoft is desperate for the new look, touch-friendly Windows 8 to grip customers' imaginations and shake up the moribund PC market.