Right on schedule, Windows 8 has been Released To Manufacturing. What this means is that Microsoft has completed the product development and the testing of Windows 8 operating system, and has started handing over its final code to its OEM partners, so that can start preparing their devices, which they can introduce at its General Availability on 26th October 2012. Windows Server 2012 too, has been Released To Manufacturing.
Windows 8 has RTM’d
While we have reached our RTM milestone, no software project is ever really “done.” We will continue to monitor and act on your real world experiences with Windows 8—we’ve used the preview process to test out our servicing and we have every intent of doing a great job on this next important phase of the product. Hardware partners will continue to provide new devices and improve support for existing devices. PC makers no doubt have quite a bit in store for all of us as they begin to show off PCs specifically designed for Windows 8, said Steven Sinofsky.
Developers and IT professionals will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via their MSDN or TechNet subscriptions on 15th August.
Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows, Microsoft Partner Network members, Microsoft Action Pack Providers and Volume License customers without Software Assurance will have access to Windows 8 on dates between August 16th and September 1st.
The Windows Blog has confirmed that users will be able to get Windows 8 starting on October 26th either by upgrading for $39.99 or when they purchase a new Windows 8 device, either a new PC or a new device.
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,
You can read more about the Windows 8 SKU editions here.