Microsoft announces that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing, signaling the completion of product development and testing. Product has now been handed-off to hardware partners ready in October for general availability.
With the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) milestone achieved, it will be the final build for the long awaited Windows 8, and is on schedule for its worldwide launch on the 26th October 2012.
On top of that, selected audiences, including developers, IT professionals and partners will have early access to this final RTM build from the 15th August onwards. Developers building new apps for the Windows 8 will be able to download the final Windows 8 build on the 15th from the Windows Dev Center. Developers can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to all the tools and resources they need to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows Store. While all apps during the preview phases were free, RTM developers can begin charging for apps, so those with access to RTM bits will begin to see paid apps appear in the Windows Store.
For non-developers, Windows 8 will be generally available from 26th October onwards. In addition to that, if you choose to purchase a Windows 7 PC from today, you can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for S$17.99 (including GST) on the day of Windows 8 launch. For those wanting to try a pre-release version of Windows 8 before general availability, the Windows 8 Release Preview is available for download as well.
Read on for the full press release.
SINGAPORE — 2 August, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced Windows 8 has reached Release to Manufacturing (RTM), the latest milestone in the launch of the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system. With this milestone, industry partners are readying products in time for the Windows 8 worldwide launch on 26 October, 2012. Windows 8 offers a fast and fluid, reimagined experience and the RTM milestone marks the completion of code development that has been driven by customer and developer feedback since preview versions became available starting last September.
Select audiences, including developers, IT professionals and partners will have early access to final RTM code beginning later this month. Highlights include:
· August 15th: Developers building new apps for Windows 8 will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via an MSDN subscription, and can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to the final build of Visual Studio 2012.
· August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through a TechNet subscription .
· 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.
Developers can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to all the tools and resources they need to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows Store. While all apps during the preview phases were free, at RTM developers can begin charging for apps, so those with access to RTM bits will begin to see paid apps appear in the Windows Store.
aZaaS, a Microsoft partner that specializes in creating cloud-based software-as-a-service solutions that help customers run their businesses , has been developing Windows 8 apps since the developers’ preview and has since published a number of consumer apps in the Windows Store. Mr. Tan Choon Ngee, CEO, aZaaS, said: “Since the announcement of Windows 8, we have been excited about the endless possibilities Windows 8 offer with a modern platform and wealth of tools to create rich app experiences for businesses and individuals. With the launch of the commerce platform at RTM, we believe that we will be able to reach out to more users worldwide with tailored apps developed specifically for Windows 8 that will bring about an immersive and engaging experience for all.” aZaaS is currently working with several customers in Singapore to build more exciting apps covering diverse verticals, including finance and travel related content.
Windows 8 will be generally available to customers on 26 October. In addition, if a user buys a Windows 7 PC from today, they can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for S$17.99 (including GST) on the day of Windows 8 launch. For those wanting to try a pre-release version of Windows 8 before general availability, the Windows 8 Release Preview is available to download at http://preview.windows.com.
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*Some information relates to a prerelease product, which may be substantially modified before it is commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.