COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Journalism students, professors and researchers at the University of Missouri are teaming up with Microsoft in an effort to develop apps for the soon-to-be-released, tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system.

The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism is opening a Microsoft Application Development Lab on its Columbia campus. The company's operating system upgrade goes on sale Oct. 26 and is designed to work better with touch screens and on tablet computers.

The company has provided an initial grant of $100,000 to equip and furnish the lab, institute director Randy Picht said. Microsoft also will provide a $20,000 annual supplement toward the salary of a full-time programmer who will oversee the lab.

Besides Windows-based laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones, the lab includes Xbox 360 gaming systems with Kinect.

Those devices will be used in an experiment involving injury rehabilitation by female athletes who have suffered knee injuries. That experiment involves the university's medical school and College of Engineering.

The journalism school has received support and equipment from Apple computers for years. The new Microsoft partnership complements those deals, Picht said.

"We want to have the latest technology for students to be exposed to, and to experiment with," he said.

Apple is "still very eager to do things with us, and so are we," he said. "It's not an either-or."

The school plans to host a Sept. 6 kickoff celebration at the new lab.