Good news: Windows 8 is, officially, complete. That means we’re not getting another preview build, but it does mean we’ll be get the first complete version of the OS in three months and there are opportunities to get your hand on the RTM code.
And we’re done here: Microsoft announces Windows 8 is complete!
Since Microsoft announced we’re getting Windows 8 at the end of October, realistically the OS wasn’t too far off being complete. Microsoft confirmed as much in a blog post yesterday, and there will be chance to get hands on the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) code.
The first date to get the code is August 15, when developers can use the final version of the operating system via MSDN subscriptions. Concurrently, IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations can access final versions of Windows 8 through TechNet subscriptions.
August 16 opens the access up to customers with existing Microsoft Assurance for Windows, who can download the Windows 8 Enterprise edition. Alongside enterprise is access for Microsoft Partner Network members.
August 20 grants the early release of Windows 8 to Microsoft Action Pack Providers, while September 1 allows Windows 8 to be bought through Microsoft Volume License Resellers. The latter is applicable to Volume License customers without Software Assurance. It marks the final pre-October date for getting access to the final code.
Microsoft suggested other releases will happen, as code availability for other programs will be made known as they become available, according to the company.
Developers can visit the Windows Dev Center on August 15 to get access to Visual Studio 2012, notably, to build applications for Windows 8. If you’re in this group, Microsoft says to stay tuned to the Windows Store for developers and Windows 8 app developer blogs.
Of course, you can install the near-final Release Preview version of Windows 8. You’ll get a good idea of what the final product will look like come this October.
It’s going to be interesting to see the apps available from launch. Hopefully developers will put the time into designing apps of good quality, because skeptical users need to see the best of what Windows 8 offers in terms of design. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t love Metro like me.
Windows 8 release October 26.