Windows 8 hits Released to Manufacturing (RTM) status

Microsoft has just announced that Windows 8 has reached released to manufacturing (RTM), that means the final code for Windows 8 will reach OEM partners for installing on new Windows PCs.

Microsoft has released Windows Release Preview exactly two months back for consumers, that is the last version consumers will see before the general availability of Windows 8 from October 26th.

Consumers will be able to get their Windows 8 on October 26th through upgrade offers or by buying new devices. Users with Windows Vista or Windows 7 licenses will be able to upgrade for a price of $39.99. If you buy a Windows 7 PC today you can get the upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.99.

For developers and enterprise customers the dates for the availability of Windows 8 are listed below.

  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.

Developers will be able to get the final build of Visual Studio 2012 to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows store.