Microsoft this morning announced RTM for Windows 8, which stands for Released to Manufacturing, which is the technical phrase for, “Woohoo, we’re done!” — to whatever extent software can be considered “done” in this modern era of regular online updates.

Computer makers will now be able to build Windows 8 PCs in advance of the Oct. 26 general availability of the new operating system.

Windows 8 RTM is a major milestone for Microsoft, which is counting on Windows 8 to keep its operating system relevant in a technology world increasingly centered on tablets and other forms of mobile computing. The overhauled interface, centered around a tile-based Start screen, will be disorienting to some PC users, but Microsoft is betting that people will be able to make the adjustment.

In a blog post this morning, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky cites unprecedented levels of testing for Windows 8.

He writes, “The previews of Windows 8 (Developer, Consumer, Release) have been the most widely and deeply used test releases of any product we have ever done. Over 16 million PCs actively participated in these programs, including approximately 7 million on the Release Preview that started 8 weeks ago. The depth and breadth of testing validate the readiness of Windows 8 for the market.”

Via Microsoft, here’s a timeline of next steps …

August 15: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via MSDN subscriptions; IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through TechNet subscriptions

August 16: 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 the opportunity to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within their organizations; Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.

August 20: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) will receive access to Windows 8.

September 1: Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.

October 26: Windows 8 will be available to consumers either by upgrading or on a new PC. Eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased now qualify for an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (U.S.) through the Windows Upgrade Offer.

Comments

  • http://frugalmechanic.com/ Eric Peters

    Anyone know if they put the start menu back into the RTM, or still the crappy metro only style navigation in the latest preview?

  • SycophantBastard
  • GW fan

    I don’t believe this includes the RT version or phone version yet.

  • Lone Gunman

    Win 8 is junk and I wouldn’t have it if they gave it to me free of charge! Heck it’s so worthless it’s not even worth stealing!

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.