Microsoft announced that Windows 8 has hit RTM phase. Today, I am excited to announce that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing (RTM)! This means we’ve completed the product development and testing of the product and have started handing off the final code to our OEM partners. They can now begin preparing new Windows 8 PCs and devices they’ll introduce starting with General Availability. For more on RTM, I suggest reading this blog post from Steven Sinofsky on the Building Windows 8 blog.
So when will folks be able to get their hands on the new Windows 8 RTM code?
People will be able get Windows 8 starting on October 26th either by upgrading for $39.99 or on a new PC or device. And if you buy an eligible Windows 7 PC today, you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (U.S.) through the Windows Upgrade Offer.
However, we have a number of programs that provides various audiences early access to the Windows 8 RTM code to help prepare for Windows 8 as it enters the marketplace this fall:
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.
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