Microsoft had earlier announced that the Windows 8 Release to Manufacturers (RTM) will be available in the first week of August. However, news has it that  Mary Jo Foley revealed in a recent Windows Weekly Podcast that as per her sources from MSDN and TechNet services, the Windows 8 RTM will be made available for its OEM partners on August 1. Also, recently Win8China got their hands on leaked screenshots of the Final Build of Windows 8 RTM, which is said to be the build 9200.16384.WIN8_RTM.120725-1247. The site also got a glimpse of the Lock Screen of Windows 8 RTM.

Windows 8 new Start menu (Image credit: All Things D)

Windows 8 to RTM on August

Windows 8’s final public version is scheduled to be released on October 26 along with Windows 8-enabled devices from companies such as HP, Dell, Acer, Asus, and Samsung, and also Microsoft’s first Surface Tablet (WinRT version). The Intel based Surface will be released 90 days after the release of the WinRT version of Surface Tablet. As per a post on The Windows Blog, the author Brandon LeBlanc has stated, “October 26th, 2012! That’s right! Just a few minutes ago, Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on October 26th. Earlier this month at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Tami Reller told attendees Windows 8 would be available in October. But now everyone has a specific date to mark on their calendars. It’s on mine!

We had also seen some leaked screenshots of Windows 8 a few days back. The screenshots suggest that the OS promises a host of changes including a boot screen with the new Metro-style logo, Internet Explorer 10 that interacts with the colour of the Windows 8 theme, new colour picker options for the desktop UI, additional Metro inspired wallpapers and backgrounds for lock screen. What makes it even more special is its availability for both desktops and tablets. It will also be made available for ARM devices through an operating system called Windows RT, which includes the all-new Metro user interface. PCs, notebooks and x86 tablets will have access to the standard Windows 8 operating system, which will include both the new Metro user interface as well as the traditional desktop user interface. The Metro user interface is designed specifically for tablets and touchscreens.

With Windows 8, Microsoft has put their best foot forward. It has been focusing on several factors including graphics performance. In a post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft’s graphics group programme manager Rob Copeland explains,”Graphics performance on Windows depends on both the operating system and the hardware system, comprised of the CPU, the GPU (graphics processing unit), and the associated display driver. To ensure that we could deliver a great experience for new Metro style apps, we needed to make sure that both the software platform and the hardware system would deliver great performance. In the past we’ve used many different benchmarks and apps to measure the performance of DirectX. These have been largely focused on 3D games. While games are still very important, we knew that many of these existing ways to measure graphics performance did not tell us everything we needed to know for graphics-intensive, 2D, mainstream apps. So, we created new scenario-focused tests and metrics to track our progress”.

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