At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference today Microsoft announced that Windows 8 is going to be Released To Manufacturing (RTM) during the first week of August. General availability of Windows 8 is going to be by the end of October.

This means that devices running Windows 8 and Windows RT should be on sale by the end of October, hopefully including the new Microsoft Surface.

Hopefully the RTM version will be available on MSDN and Technet soon after the RTM date.

Details from the Windows Team Blog

Today in Toronto, Canada, at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller spoke to thousands of partners from around the world. She shared some exciting new details regarding Windows that I wanted to pass along.

For the first time, we provided details on Windows 8 availability. Tami confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August. For enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits, they will have full access to Windows 8 bits as early as August. Additionally, she noted that RTM is when we’ll be turning on the commerce platform so that developers can start earning money for their apps – we’ll have more to share on the Windows Store for developers blog soon. Of course, right now with the Windows 8 Release Preview, all apps are still free for people to try.

Tami went on to say that Windows 8 will reach general availability by the end of October! This means that new Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs will be available to buy and upgrades will be available starting in October. She also mentioned that that Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.

Finally, Tami announced a new milestone with Windows 7. There is no question that Windows 7 is the bestselling operating system in history – and the number of licenses sold keeps growing. In her remarks, Tami announced that more than 630 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold to date – and that more than half of enterprise desktops today are running Windows 7.

For Windows 8 hardware demos from our partners, I recommend watching the replay of the keynote, which will be available here later today.

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