Today, Microsoft confirmed that they are done with the development work on Windows 8. The new operating system has reached the official Release to Manufacturing (RTM) status. This means that Microsoft will now focus its efforts on the official launch of the new operating system - October 26. However, enthusiasts, developers and Microsoft partners can get their hands on Windows 8 as soon as this month. To learn the details, check this post.
To quote Microsoft, the official schedule for the Windows 8 release is 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. Anyone will be able to purchase Windows 8 through retail and online stores.
Additional details can be found here: Windows 8 has reached the RTM milestone. No need for us to copy and paste more information. :)
Most probably, Windows 8 will become available also through unofficial channels (e.g. torrents) after August 15.