Windows 8 Has Been Released to Manufacturing
It feels like we’ve been using pre-release versions of Windows 8 for years at this point, but today we have moved to the penultimate step of the final release of Windows 8. Today Microsoft announced that they have released their next operating system to manufacturers. That essentially means that they have completed development. Release to Manufacturing (RTM) is the final stage before the General Availability (GA) release. When Windows 8 reaches GA you’ll be able to purchase it on store shelves, and buy new PCs that are already running it. General Availability is scheduled for October 26th. So what does RTM mean, and why should you be as excited as we are? The release to manufacturing means just that: it’s been turned over to the companies from whom you’ll be buying your next PC or tablet. ASUS, Dell, HP, Acer and all of the other PC manufacturers have now been given the final release of Windows 8. That means that they can finalize all of the new products that they are planning to release this fall. There is another reason to be excited if you are subscriber to either MSDN or TechNet. Subscribers to those services will be able to download the final version, build number 9200, on August 15th.
If you can’t wait until October to buy your next PC you won’t be left feeling empty-handed come the General Availability release. Anyone who purchases a new Windows 7 computer right now is eligible to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99. If you’re not planning to purchase a new computer you can still get in on the upgrade action. You’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $39.99.