Windows 8 released to manufacturers

Microsoft Corp. announced today that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing (RTM), hitting another milestone in the development of its flagship operating system.

The RTM phase means Microsoft has finished polishing the OS and has passed it on to partners to load onto PCs and tablets. But those still won’t be available to buy until Microsoft announces the general availability of Windows 8. That’s slated for Oct. 26, according to Microsoft.

Windows 8 is ready to go, says Steven Sinofsky, Windows President, in a blog post. “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.“

Microsoft provided this schedule for giving access to the Windows 8 TRM code:

  • 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.

It’s been almost three years exactly since Microsoft announced RTM for Windows 7. That was Aug. 6, 2009.

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