MSDN/TechNet subscribers may have to wait a little longer for Windows 8.1 RTM

It's looking very much like Microsoft is close to the end of its main Windows 8.1 development, if recent leaked builds of the OS and screenshots are to be believed. Microsoft has already announced it plans to offer the RTM build to OEMs sometime in late August.

The usual custom is that Microsoft would then allow subscribers of its MSDN and TechNet services to get early access to the next version of Windows before it is released to the general public. In 2012, Windows 8 hit the RTM stage on August 1 and was available from the MSDN and TechNet channels two weeks later on August 15th.

However, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reports, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft could decide to do things a little differently and hold off on offering Windows 8.1 for everyone until mid-October or so. The story speculates that Microsoft might try to use the time to stamp out some bugs between the RTM stage and the general availability date. It could also make a Windows 8.1 launch more dramatic than the one in 2012 for Windows 8, as many tech enthusiasts had already had a chance to play (and loudly voice 'concerns') with the OS for a month beforehand.

This report, which has yet to be confirmed by Microsoft, comes even as it is shutting down its TechNet service. The company announced recently it will stop taking new or renewed TechNet subscribers after August 31st. Microsoft has said it will continue to honor all current TechNet subscriptions until they conclude.

Source: ZDNet

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

ZTE to start selling ZTE Open Firefox OS smartphones in the US and UK Friday

Next Story

Microsoft: Xbox One can still work without Kinect sensor connected

56 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It doesn't make much sense. Why release it to the manufactures, and not the developers? I can't say it ain't so, but Microsoft also has no reason to release it to the manufactures if it is not the final version. If it is truly RTM, it will be released on MSDN. There is also an update to Visual Studio that goes with this update, Visual Studio 2013. It is not like Microsoft to not give MSDN/devs access to the final product so that they to can fix bugs, update things, and get their programs rolling for Windows 8.1.

If they are doing this, they believe that even their devs are into piracy. And they have made all these changes to MSDN/TechNet just to shut down piracy and earlier previews into their software. I personally don't think that is the case, because.. I don't think they release these programs through MSDN/TechNet to give earlier previews, it's done because devs need access to the code and updated products before the consumers do.

Presumably everything that needed testing with the Surface has already been tested by the time it RTMs...so...do Surface owners get it earlier than anyone else?

yet, the MSDN users are probably the best people to find bugs before release to the public... you know the people that are software dev's...... the ones that will find oddball errors no one else noticed... the ones that need to do compatibility checks with their own apps...... dumb move on MS's part

I hate how Microsoft doesn't announce release dates for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Visual Studio 2013 and SQL Server 2014.

Usually, offering the products earlier to MSDN/TechNet subscriber has helped Microsoft finding bugs before official launching of a product, giving them time to fix.
It's the only way to have he product running on a big number of hardware/software configuration.
So if 8.1 will not be offered earlyer, I don't think the bug fix is the real cause.

Well I'm patience mostly when it comes to Windows and their updates. Whenever they add the final update to the Windows Store, I'll be ready for it.

Not to sidetrack the article and its importance, but I wonder if Microsoft is planning to do subscription based plans, similar to Office, for the rest of their Window products. I can see this as a transitional move if the subscriptions are priced well and provide great incentives to buy them.

Outside the speculated reasons, I don't really see why they would get rid of TechNet unless a subscription based plan is a possible next move.

Was hoping to have 8.1 installed on my Consumer system prior to fall, so I can have a perfectly clean system prior to Battlefield 4 Release...

Security Software Avast new version possibly in October, so wouldn't mind have 8.1 all set then updating to that when it comes out, Still run Avast here on all systems, since Windows Defender/MSE didn't do too well in the last Av Tests that I read

This is ridiculous, I wanted to have this before the summer was up! School starts and I don't have any time for migration from Windows 8 RTM and my partition is pretty much out of space where I have RTM installed.

Mr. Dee said,
This is ridiculous, I wanted to have this before the summer was up! School starts and I don't have any time for migration from Windows 8 RTM and my partition is pretty much out of space where I have RTM installed.

Wait til you get a job my friend !

You can simply update Windows 8 to 8.1, so you can stop flapping now.

But yes, a clean install would be preferable but it's not the end of the world. And as said above, if you think it's hard now, wait until you get into the real world.

This makes no sense, therefore it can't be true.

It's impossible to prevent bugs. That's why there are hotfixes. That's why there has always been a delay in product launch, to try to hit most of those where applicable. But OEMs and Developers WILL get the product on day zero, because that's how they test the product -- on gold master code.

So if you have MSDN, relax, you'll get it when it's gold. That's what MSDN is for. If there are fixes and updates, they'll do those for the years and years they support the product - there is nothing special about the first month.

Carry on.

I thought the whole point of MSDN was to let developers have time to get their stuff ready for the release and help stamp out bugs at the same time?

How would preventing people from updating their updates and such in time for launch be good for anyone?

Doesn't make any sense. Once the software goes RTM that's what's going on new PCs and any images that get built. If updates are needed they'll happen post-RTM.

I think OEMs is the reason. They want to give OEMs the opportunity to push machines out with 8.1 and be available for sale.

It does not seem a smart decision: W8.1 is, at least IMHO, a huge improvement over W8; releasing it ASAP and allowing actual users and, more important, enthusiasts to install and use it would create a huge amount of positive comments about the OS which would basically be free advertising.

Fritzly said,
It does not seem a smart decision: W8.1 is, at least IMHO, a huge improvement over W8; releasing it ASAP and allowing actual users and, more important, enthusiasts to install and use it would create a huge amount of positive comments about the OS which would basically be free advertising.
Judging by the Preview, Windows 8.1 is still a little buggy and drivers (GeForce in my case) are a little messy too. If the extra time will ensure a more solid experience, fine by me. I'm good with Windows 8 anyways.

xankazo said,
Judging by the Preview, Windows 8.1 is still a little buggy and drivers (GeForce in my case) are a little messy too. If the extra time will ensure a more solid experience, fine by me. I'm good with Windows 8 anyways.

I have some issues with the Preview as well: resuming from Hibernate give me an error with the Wi-Fi and I have to reset the adapter but...
I guess that in more than a month these issues should have been sorted out
MS could offer the RTM in advance to people like us using the same mechanism used for the preview; average users would not do it while people like the ones here on Neowin, aware of potential issues, would use it anyway and MS could still benefit from the word of mouth about 8.1
Well, time will tell..... Personally I am not going back to W8 though

There will always be day 1 surprises.... even if you push back day 1 lol. I think the main issue currently though is with driver related issues and hopefully most of those will get worked out in this time.

King Joffrey said,

Like they even care for petition, lol!

Actually there are rumors that they might re-consider their decision but as everything these are just that - rumors. And yes, they do listen to their customers believe it or not. They just have to make certain decisions sometimes and can't please everyone.

Makes no sense. Developers get access before everyone else so we can make changes to our software. I don't see them holding it back for devs. Would be counter-productive to Store apps.

scumdogmillionaire said,
Makes no sense. Developers get access before everyone else so we can make changes to our software. I don't see them holding it back for devs. Would be counter-productive to Store apps.

My point exactly... why is MS quitting TechNet anyhow?

TechNet is not a dev subscription. It was for IT pros/admins for evaluation and testing - developers would (should) have MSDN subscriptions if they're doing development on Windows, as this gives access to Microsoft's latest dev tools that match the new environments as they release and support incidents to resolve issues that come with all but the lowest MSDN subscription level.

What changes exist between build 9431 (Preview) and RTM, which makes you unable to build/test software? at this late stage, no fundamental changes should have been made to the API's!

Makes sense. Since they are delivering the update through the store and not directly as they used to do how would they deliver it to MSDN subs anyway?

LogicalApex said,
Makes sense. Since they are delivering the update through the store and not directly as they used to do how would they deliver it to MSDN subs anyway?

MSDN and Technet subs will be able to download an ISO and a retail key

SK[ said,]Stamp out bugs in the RTM? WTF

Yes because once a software hits RTM it must have 0 bugs, and there's no way for any new bugs to exist

If corporations waited for every single potential / existing bug to be fixed before releasing software, we'd still be using the abacus.

SK[ said,]Stamp out bugs in the RTM? WTF

Yeah that sounds like PR spin on it as doing bug fixes post RTM for the RTM date makes no logical sense...

LogicalApex said,

Yeah that sounds like PR spin on it as doing bug fixes post RTM for the RTM date makes no logical sense...

sounds to me like they want to give a little extra time to iron out drivers since there were some issues with the preview release

Brando212 said,
sounds to me like they want to give a little extra time to iron out drivers since there were some issues with the preview release

Yeah, but that would be a good reason to put it up on MSDN sooner...

LogicalApex said,

Yeah, but that would be a good reason to put it up on MSDN sooner...

oems don't get their copies from msdn or technet, they get their own special copies which they're still getting

Brando212 said,
oems don't get their copies from msdn or technet, they get their own special copies which they're still getting

Not ever OEM is Dell or Lenovo. If you're making the majority of peripherals that users plug into their machines you're getting your copy from MSDN to test the latest update.

-Razorfold said,

Yes because once a software hits RTM it must have 0 bugs, and there's no way for any new bugs to exist

If corporations waited for every single potential / existing bug to be fixed before releasing software, we'd still be using the abacus.

That was my point...

Did you read the article? The reasons stated as why they might do this is to have more testing time before GA - of course they know it will leak, and all the people who download the leaked version are just more testers for them lol

Undead Steve, did you read the article? The gap between RTM and GA is perfectly fine and normal - but creating a gab between RTM and developer availability via MSDN and TechNet is unusual and makes little sense, especially considering your reasoning. Those are the usual tech savvy testers Microsoft is excluding now.