Windows 8 is finished, today Microsoft announced it’s been released to manufacturing (RTM). So that means its being handed off to OEMS to build their images ready for the official release date of October 26th. It also means that we should be able to get hold of the finished version of Windows 8 before the general availability date. MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to get hold of the release version August 15th with volume licence editions coming later in August.

I will be upgrading a few of my machines but whether I touch my main Windows Media Center machine remains to be seen.

Details from the Windows Team Blog:


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


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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