win8startscreen

I realize I’m much later than everyone else on the blogosphere in getting this post out today, but wanted to add to the pool!

Yes, after much hard work from the respective Product Teams, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012 have all Released To Manufacturing (RTM) today!!!  I am totally excited and am sure all the geeks out there (IT Pro, Developer, Consumer, Hobbyist, etc.) are also ecstatic about this news.

As I was at SeaTac this morning to catch my flight home from Seattle, I did get in a conversation with someone about what RTM actually meant and when people would actually be able to get their hands on the products.  For Windows 8, RTM means the product is finalized and being handed off to our OEM partners so they can start building their systems with the new OS so they will be available to everyone on the General Availability date (October 26th).  Some other important dates are as follows:

  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • 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.
  • October 26th: General Availability – new PCs and devices sold with Windows 8 and the ability to purchase Full copies of Windows 8 or upgrades of Windows 8.

Another question I have received is around the new Surface devices and when they will become available.  Just like the new PCs and devices being offered by our OEM partners on October 26th, the Surface will also be available for purchase on October 26th.

I know my wife and kids are anxiously waiting for the release of the Surface.  The only real question is what color cover / keyboard they want.

Harold Wong