Windows 8 nearly ready for launch
Microsoft Corp. announced Windows 8 has reached Release to Manufacturing (RTM), the latest milestone in the launch of the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system. With this milestone, industry partners are readying products in time for the Windows 8 worldwide launch on October 26.
Milestone signals completed include product development and testing, followed by the hand-off to hardware partners in preparation for securing Windows 8’s general availability by October.
Windows 8 offers a fast and fluid, reimagined experience and the RTM milestone marks the completion of code development that has been driven by customer and developer feedback since preview versions became available starting last September.
Select audiences, including developers, IT professionals and partners will have early access to final RTM code beginning later this month. Highlights include:
August 15: Developers building new apps for Windows 8 will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via an MSDN subscription and can visit the Windows Dev Centre to get access to the final build of Visual Studio 2012. IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organisations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through a TechNet subscription.
August 16: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Centre (VLSC), allowing users to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within their organisation. Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
August 20: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
September 1: Volume Licence customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume Licence Resellers.
Developers can visit the Windows Dev Centre to get access to all the tools and resources they need to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows Store. While all apps during the preview phases were free, at RTM, developers can begin charging for apps, so those with access to RTM bits will begin to see paid apps appear in the Windows Store.
On launch day, current Windows users can upgrade to Windows 8. For those wanting to try a pre-release version of Windows 8 before general availability, the Windows 8 Release preview is available for download at http://preview.windows.com.