Microsoft Corp. today announced Windows 8 has reached Release to Manufacturing (RTM), the latest milestone in the launch of its highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system. With this, industry partners are readying products in time for the Windows 8 worldwide launch on 26 October, 2012. Windows 8 offers a fast and fluid, reimagined experience. The RTM milestone marks the completion of code development that was driven by customer and developer feedback since preview versions became available 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 Center to get access to the final build of Visual Studio 2012.
  • August 15: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations 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 Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization. 
  • August 16: 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 License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.
Windows 8

Windows 8 has released to manufacturing

Developers can visit the Windows Dev Center 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.

Windows 8 will become available to customers on 26 October. In addition, the Windows Upgrade Offer is available to customers purchasing new Windows 7 PCs preinstalled with original versions of Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate, that include a matching and valid OEM Certificate of Authenticity (COA).

With the Windows Upgrade Offer, Indian customers get a downloadable upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of just Rs. 699. For those wanting to try a pre-release version of Windows 8 before general availability, the Windows 8 Release Preview is available to download here.

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