The October 26 on-sale date for Windows 8 is now fully locked in, with Microsoft finalising the code for the release to manufacturing (RTM) version today. While consumers will have to wait until late October to purchase the new Windows as a download or on a new PC, some lucky folk will get their hands on it early.
Microsoft will make the RTM version of Windows 8 available on the following dates to various groups, mostly subscribers to its developer and large business programs:
- August 15: Developers on MSDN and IT professionals on TechNet. This will also be the date when updated developer tools are released, so we'll start seeing a fresh wave of Windows 8 Metro apps at that time.
- August 16: Large organisations on the Software Assurance program.
- September 1: Volume licence customers who don't have Software Assurance will be able to purchase through resellers
Still no word on the Australian consumer pricing for the various versions of Windows 8, other than the $39.99 upgrade offer to Windows 8 Pro for existing users and the $14.99 upgrade deal for anyone who purchased a Windows 7 PC after June 2.
In other Windows 8 news, Microsoft has now enabled paid apps on the Windows Store, which is where Metro-style apps will be distributed. During the Windows 8 beta phase, all apps have been free.
Releasing Windows 8 - August 1, 2012 [Building Windows 8]