When Microsoft announced that Windows 8.1 had been released to manufacturing they said that it would only be available from October 18th the Windows 8.1 release date. This upset a lot of developers who were expecting access via MSDN as with previous version of Windows. Developers want access to the release version so they can get their apps ready for general release and having to wait caused a considerable outcry. Today Microsoft have completely backtracked on their previous announcement and will make Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows Server 2012 RT RTM builds on MSDN and TechNet
later this month now.
So developers and IT Pro can get a head start with Windows 8.1 deployment, Microsoft also made available the release candidate of Visual Studio 2013.
I don’t know if Windows RT 8.1 will be included and whether Surface RT owners are going to have to wait till October to get the update via the Windows Store.
Details from the MSDN blog:
Starting today, we will extend availability of our current Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM builds to the developer and IT professional communities via MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. The Windows 8.1 RTM Enterprise edition will be available through MSDN and TechNet for businesses later this month. Additionally, today we’re making available the Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate which you can download here.
We heard from you that our decision to not initially release Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM bits was a big challenge for our developer partners as they’re readying new Windows 8.1 apps and for IT professionals who are preparing for Windows 8.1 deployments. We’ve listened, we value your partnership, and we are adjusting based on your feedback. As we refine our delivery schedules for a more rapid release cadence, we are working on the best way to support early releases to the various audiences within our ecosystem.