Microsoft: Windows 8.1 has hit RTM; no early access for MSDN or TechNet

Microsoft has announced today that both Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT has officially hit RTM and that the code is now in the hands of OEMs to allow them to pre-load machines for the upcoming launch in October.  Windows 8.1 will be launching on October 18th with the Windows Store getting it a tad early on the 17th to align with the time zone differences around the world.

Antoine Leblond, an SVP for Microsoft, also confirmed in the announcement that MSDN and TechNet users will have to wait until October 18th, stating:

While our partners are preparing these exciting new devices we will continue to work closely with them as we put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1 to ensure a quality experience at general availability on October 18th. This is the date when Windows 8.1 will be broadly available for commercial customers with or without volume licensing agreements, our broad partner ecosystem, subscribers to MSDN and TechNet, as well as consumers.

That seems to suggest that more updates could be on the way before the final bits are made available to consumers.

Windows 8.1 is a refined blend of Windows, as noted by Steve Ballmer, and brings back the Start button (but not the menu), additional customization options (such as boot to desktop) and other features that will help address some of the criticism that Windows 8 has received.

Windows 8.1 is part of Microsoft’s new rapid release cadence that will see the company push out updates to its platforms on an annual basis rather than in incremental spans. This is a dramatic shift from Microsoft’s previous release cycle and for Windows, they have passed the first test of the updated cadence. Of course, hitting the first one is likely much easier than hitting the second or third, so we will be watching closely to see if Microsoft is able to maintain this momentum.

As with other builds that have been sent to OEMs, the RTM build may leak ahead of its retail launch. While this is not a guarantee, if the previous patterns are an indication of a future leak, don't be surprised to see these bits hit the web a tad early.

With Microsoft’s aggressive Windows 8 and RT push, especially in the tablet segment, we will be curious to see how Microsoft plans to inform the consumer about the improvements with Windows 8.1. Will they release a series of commercials or will they rely on the new tutorials that will come with the OS?

Source: Blogging Windows (Microsoft)

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The RTM that will last on 1st or just after will be basically the same. The only difference in a Retail ISO and one that has leaked before GA will be that the GA has some of the windows updates included. The ISO that will leak will be the same but without the updates (hence why hash will be different.)

But however you do it be that, installing the leak and downloading updates via windows update Or waiting for GA ISO and installing it the results will be the same.

So if you do see a leak dont be scared to download it thinking its not finished.

This update thing is nothing new happend with Windows RT. Also whenever you get a RTM/Retail ISO and install on day #1 of GA there will be windows updates. This will be no different.

The difference on GA day will be if you installed with the RTM ISO leaked you will have more updates than if you were to use a retail ISO

I officially moved over the Preview full time yesterday, will just have to prepare to reinstall apps when the RTM becomes available. Couldn't wait any longer.

So, even though Technet subscriptions are being discontinued after September 30, they're still going to post new software on the site for subscribers after that date? Since my subscription expires 9/22, perhaps I'll have to renew it for one more (and final) year.

devHead said,
So, even though Technet subscriptions are being discontinued after September 30, they're still going to post new software on the site for subscribers after that date? Since my subscription expires 9/22, perhaps I'll have to renew it for one more (and final) year.

As far as I'm aware you can redeem in September only if you have bought in August. So your auto-renew probably won't happen.

(Check the small print online)

That part I realize. But I was hesitant about renewing, especially if they aren't going to be making new releases available after September 30 of this year. I'm kind of scared that after 9/30, Microsoft will make some other brilliant announcement that Windows 8.1 won't be available for Technet subscribers on October 18.

If i were Microsoft i would just keep it under wraps until it hits the market.. this RTM BS is nonsense in todays market. With that being said, GA availability is probably delayed awaiting visual studio 2013 RTM and other updates needed..

I'm due a reinstall. I have a lot of left over files from software thats been and gone. Waiting until 8.1 though.

It just bugs me that nobody at Microsoft never thought to add a unified notifications center like WP8 GD3 is rumored to get. The icons on the lock screen or numbers on the tiles just don't cut it.

Windows 8 is solid OS, no doubt about that. But Metro UI on workstations is crap too and there is no doubt about that too! I, when predicted that Windows 8 would fail in GCC market, someone here made fun and asked me to help him with the lottery, as I can see in the future. What I said about Windows 8 exactly happened!

If anyone has doubts about this, visit any GCC country and go ask any IT retailer about Windows 8 and don't be surprised at their answers. This release of Windows 8.1 is a failure too, which again time will prove. Microsoft is all about marketing it and exciting people about it now, but 2-3 years down the line you will see the real picture and Microsoft may probably finally admit that this was a failure just like they did after 2-3 years of release of Windows Vista. They are doing exactly the same thing, which they did while they released Windows Vista.

This isn't going to do Microsoft any favours publicly. They are going to get ripped apart for such a big gap between OEM hand off and developer access to the same build.

It's ridiculous!! The OS that need a fast pace development Win Phone is on 18 months!! even basic apps like FM radio is not available still even if the hardware support it months ago, the upgrades are way too slow to came ! you need to hurry up to try to survive but you take it easy.
The OS that need a very slow pace, like server 2012, that you want to make sure that it's rock solid, steady and compatible is on 10 months schedule!! Nobody care if it's Win 8, 8.1, 8.11a... Everybody care that the OS is stable, easy to use, easy to find out... The people chat on facebook, on twitter, play games, run offices programs they dont' want reinstall everything every 6 months, risk that the program that they use break down for no reason. They care about that new gmail design, that cool new features on social networks not how many threads Win 8.3 support more that 8.2 or 8.1 or 8, It's crazy !!! .....It's ready but it's not as ready as We'd like so We hold on it 2 more months. Win 7 as long as photoshop, office, autocad, games works just fine who cares ? Why risk to reinstall a perfectly setup pc that run all just fine from scratch with a new OS that slow you down with stupid UI, break some things, for what ? to talk about that you have the latest version...

Edited by mazzy80, Aug 27 2013, 7:32pm :

mazzy80 said,
It's ridiculous!! The OS that need a fast pace development Win Phone is on 18 months!! even basic apps like FM radio is not available still even if the hardware support it months ago, the upgrades are way too slow to came ! you need to hurry up to try to survive but you take it easy.
The OS that need a very slow pace, like server 2012, that you want to make sure that it's rock solid, steady and compatible is on 10 months schedule!! Nobody care if it's Win 8, 8.1, 8.11a... Everybody care that the OS is stable, easy to use, easy to find out... The people chat on facebook, on twitter, play games, run offices programs they dont' want reinstall everything every 6 months, risk that the program that they use break down for no reason. They care about that new gmail design, that cool new features on social networks not how many threads Win 8.3 support more that 8.2 or 8.1 or 8, It's crazy !!! .....It's ready but it's not as ready as We'd like so We hold on it 2 more months. Win 7 as long as photoshop, office, autocad, games works just fine who cares ? Why risk to reinstall a perfectly setup pc that run all just fine from scratch with a new OS that slow you down with stupid UI, break some things, for what ? to talk about that you have the latest version...

What? Windows Phone 8 was released 9 months ago.

I love how they seem to think giving us the Start Button back will appease all those who complained, including myself. But what we wanted was the Start Menu, not the button per se!

We are no appeased, we are more angry at your arrogant attitude MS!

MS is a debilitating condition that can affect every aspect of everyday life... Yep sums them up!"

I couldn't believe it when I clicked on the start button, and it just switched to the metro UI.. wtf? They've simply put a button on a hot corner!..

Thank god startisback had a version for 8.1 waiting (well, beta, but good enough)...

Agree with a another comment above that metro has no place on a desktop, is minimalist appearance and lack of flexibility makes it unusable as a desktop environment IMO. eg, I often have half dozen or more windows open and scattered all over my desktop, and can min/max, drag them out etc.. again, luckily, another 3rd party app from stardock tries to resolve this..

One of the first option after install should be desktop or tablet mode, where the former completely disables the metro ui... Whilst I initially did like the look of it, and its live tiles, I just simply cant work with it as effectively as with the traditional desktop.

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