After the launch of Windows 7 in October, 2009 Microsoft announced the final bits of Windows 8. Windows 8 RTM has been finalized and its OEM has been started rolling out to the OEM partners. Microsoft has completed all the product development and testing of the same and then finalized the build 9200 as Windows 8 RTM (Release To Manufacturing). Steven Sinofsky said:
We continue to be sincerely humbled by the breadth of participation in our pre-release testing. The previews of Windows 8 (Developer, Consumer, Release) have been the most widely and deeply used test releases of any product we have ever done. Over 16 million PCs actively participated in these programs, including approximately 7 million on the Release Preview that started 8 weeks ago. The depth and breadth of testing validate the readiness of Windows 8 for the market.
Windows 8 PC products are being developed and its General Availability will be from October 26, 2012. Windows 8 RTM can be grabbed by users either by upgrading for $39.99 or on a new PC or device. And in case you buy an eligible Windows 7 PC today then you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (U.S.) through the Windows Upgrade Offer.
Redmond Giant has given lots of options for the availability of Windows 8 via numerous developer channels:
- 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.
Note: Please note: if a program you are in is not mentioned, please be patient as dates for Windows 8 RTM code availability for other programs will be communicated when the information becomes available.