Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012 reach RTM milestone

Back in July, Microsoft announced at the 2012 WPC that Windows 8 will RTM in the first week of August. And sure enough, as far as Windows 8 news is concerned, Microsoft has started this month with a bang by announcing that Windows 8 has indeed reached its penultimate milestone - RTM (Release to Manufacturing).

What this milestone means is that the development and testing of Windows 8 is complete and the final code has been locked down and sent to Microsoft's OEM partners such as Acer, Lenovo and HP so they can prepare the Windows 8 devices they have in the pipeline.

Windows 8 RTM Start screen

Microsoft has a number of programs under which members receive early access to its software. These are the dates when they get Windows 8 RTM:

  • August 15th: Developers with MSDN subscriptions, and IT professionals with TechNet subscriptions
  • August 16th: Volume licensees with Software Assurance (SA), and Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) members
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS)
  • September 1st: Volume licensees without SA

But as a consumer, you won't be able to get your hands on Windows 8 until it launches on October 26th. At that time, you can purchase a new Windows 8 device, upgrade your existing PC for $39.99, or use the $14.99 upgrade offer if you buy a new PC today.

Also RTMing alongside Windows 8 are Windows Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012. Windows Server 2012 will reach General Availability on September 4th and will be launched online at windows-server-launch.com, while Visual Studio 2012 will become available on MSDN on August 15th and officially launch on September 12th at visualstudiolaunch.com.

Microsoft's official announcement made no mention of Windows RT's RTM date, the version of Windows 8 that will run on ARM-based devices. However, according to The Next Web, device manufacturers have received Windows RT's RTM version.

Another major announcement made was that the Windows Store is now open for businesses to submit paid Metro style apps. Companies will need to use the RTM build of Windows 8 to upload apps. Details for individual developers will be shared later.

Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division, said in a post on the Building Windows 8 blog that the Windows 8 Previews "have been the most widely and deeply used test releases of any product we have ever done." He also shared an impressive statistic: the Developer, Consumer and Release Previews put together were downloaded on over 16 million PCs.

Steven Sinofsky also confirmed the build number of the final release is 9200, and not 8888 as rumored earlier. He noted that Windows 8 has "thousands of new features," most of which have not been covered yet, saying there will be a lot to talk about at the recently-announced BUILD 2012 conference.

Image credit: Blogging Windows

  Source: Blogging Windows · Windows Server Blog · Jason Zander's Blog · Windows Store for Developers
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