TechARP has predicted that Microsoft will reach IE8's RTM milestone in March during the last 2 weeks. TechARP expects so because Microsoft plans to announce the final details of the IE8 RTM schedule and available language versions by March 5, 2009.
The malaysian website also expects Microsoft to determine a time frame for the public release of IE8 via Windows Update by March 8. There was a time gap of 8 weeks between IE7's RC1 and its public release. A similar 8-weeks time limit applied to IE8's RC1 in January suggests the final build's availability around March 23 according to TechARP.
Microsoft has declined to confirm or deny the TechARP speculation saying that out timeline is driven by the quality of the product and Microsoft is deliberate in its approach to releasing new products & feels strong obliged to its customers to do so in a responsible manner to ensure they get the safest, most reliable product possible.
OEM's can choose IE8 as an optional install to their Windows Vista or Windows XP pre-installed products. IE8 is currently in RC1 and is available as an upgrade to Vista and XP users. IE8's final version was anticipated to be released when Windows 7 hits RTM. Earlier availablility of IE8 might sugguest that Windows 7 will reach users by the end of this year.
For those who missed out the features of IE8, here is Neowin's exclusive IE8 review and you can download and try IE8 RC1 browser here.