Rumor: Windows 8.1 gone RTM with hand over to OEMs on August 16th

Microsoft has already said that it plans to release the final RTM build of Windows 8.1 to OEMs sometime in late August. Today, claims have been made that Microsoft has now signed off on the final RTM build of the OS and will in fact deliver the build to OEMs on August 16th.

This report comes from the Russian language website Microsoftportal.net, which claims that the news was first posted on a Russian forum by a known Microsoft news leaker. That person says that the Windows 8.1 RTM build was completed with the build number 9500.10554.

Of course, this report is squarely in the "rumor" category" but if true, the timeline of events would seem to to follow Microsoft's previously announced plans to get Windows 8.1 out to OEMs. A previous rumor from ZDNet claims that Microsoft will make the final build of Windows 8.1 available to the general public shortly after it reached the RTM stage.

PC makers will likely offer new laptops, desktop, tablets and hybrid products with Windows 8.1 installed sometime later this fall, and you can bet Microsoft will hit the public with a new campaign of ads to promote the updated version of Windows 8.

Source: Microsoftportal.net via tip in the forums.

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Sheesh, a whole month to pass a finished product to OEMS? When are we getting it, December?? It only takes me 24hrs to have a bowel movement

The best thing about Windows 8.1 is you can right click the start button and select shutdown. Amazing! Now only if when i selected for it to boot into desktop or when i selected desktop it would stay on the desktop.

I don't want modern UI trying to open my pictures and movies and i don't want my search to be full screen while i am reading a webpage... If i am on the desktop i want to stay on the desktop.

I know this is an option but it should be default. Sure having choice is a good thing and i have nothing against the modern UI when i am using modern UI i like staying in Modern UI without being forced back to desktop mode and same in desktop mode i want to stay in it without being forced into metro,

They should have just made it so default app in desktop mode was a desktop app.

What does that mean for Surface owners? There's no need to ship anything to OEMs here as Surface is MS's own product. If it actually RTMed, I see no reason for it not being available to Surface owners immediately.

doesn't matter if it comes out now or later, within six months there will be over 1GB of windows updates anyway.

Windows 8 has already so many updates, some big sized ones than windows 7. Better they release RTM software after fixing and testing all bugs.So many updates are a bit difficult really ,especially 100 MB and above one.

There's a lot of bugs in that preview , hope they've sorted them and aren't rush releasing it like they did with windows 8....

curiouz said,
So 8.1 RTM starts screen is going to be like this?I haven't tried the preview version yet.

Out of the box it will have a modern (animated) background (not available in preview). You have to customize the start screen to explicitly set its background to match your desktop background. I found it by reading the help, which was actually built into the preview, shockingly.

For those we activated Windows 8 with KMS you will want to start backup up now or turn install back to retail, you can only upgrade VL (or activated via KMS) by downloading the ISO and burning it. So fresh install unless you get Windows 8 back to retail state somehow.

No matter what happens to Windows 8+, it still has a hostile UI... and is more designed for a tablet or touchscreen monitor. The biggest purchaser of Windows machines is business and government, they just cant be bothered re-training people to use a new UI and the cost's involved are high.

Also there is nothing wrong with Windows 7 and in some cases 7 outperforms 8 in games.

And in some cases 8 outperforms 7. It varies from game to game with only a few FPS difference and neither has any particular trend over the other.

Also, hostile is a bit of a hyperbole, especially in 8.1

Star-Pirate said,
...re-training people to use a new UI and the cost's involved are high....

Why do people keep spreading this FUD. Either you have stupid knowledge workers, stupid IT people, or stupid CIO.
Windows 8 / 8.1 Have three core tenets that take all of about 15 minutes to grasp, that span across ALL modern apps. It's this sort of consistency which Microsoft could NEVER enforce on the desktop that make all techies revere the desktop.

Get over it already. The sooner the world embraces Modern, the less we'll have to train people, as they can feel empowered to explore without damaging the system.

Star-Pirate said,
No matter what happens to Windows 8+, it still has a hostile UI... and is more designed for a tablet or touchscreen monitor. The biggest purchaser of Windows machines is business and government, they just cant be bothered re-training people to use a new UI and the cost's involved are high.

Also there is nothing wrong with Windows 7 and in some cases 7 outperforms 8 in games.


Not true. Not only Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7. It is also way more stable and secure. One particular annoying feature of Windows versions previous to Windows 8 was the kernel timer implementation. Any application (i.e Google Chrome) could slow down the system by simply changing the tick interval. Not to mention using a lot more energy thus draining the battery faster. This is one of many behind-the-scenes improvements Windows 8 introduced which any power user will definitely appreciate.
The UI argument gets less and less relevant, particularly with 8.1. Unless you are an 80 year old who doesn't feel comfortable using a computer, that is.
You can always use custom shells, even use the explorer.exe from Windows 7. What really matters is the underlying operating system, and Windows 8 is undoubtedly superior.

Star-Pirate said,
No matter what happens to Windows 8+, it still has a hostile UI... and is more designed for a tablet or touchscreen monitor. The biggest purchaser of Windows machines is business and government, they just cant be bothered re-training people to use a new UI and the cost's involved are high.

Also there is nothing wrong with Windows 7 and in some cases 7 outperforms 8 in games.


So stay with Windows 7, big boy.

I can guarantee Windows 7 will be around a lot longer than Windows 8... Just as XP due to the factor there is nothing in 8 which make a compelling augment into upgrading. And to augment that Win 8 is faster is true, but if you go into windows services and turn all the crap of not being used 7 will be just as fast.

Star-Pirate said,
...
Also there is nothing wrong with Windows 7 and in some cases 7 outperforms 8 in games.

You might find this to change more than expected in 8.1.

With a fairly modern video card that supports WDM 1.2 or 1.3, there are several performance enhancements that do trickle down to gaming.

A couple of things that are worth noticing...
The way the OS handles GPU scheduling, not only in 'calls' but in RAM sharing is faster, this allows it to offer higher quality textures to the game with less overhead.

The DWM is also more efficient, improving on what Windows 8 had already brought new to the table over Windows 7. Some of these are direct DWM changes/optimizations and some come from the new features in DirectX that the DWM utilizes.

For many games the DWM is not active when running in full screen mode; however with Windows 8 more games were encouraged and even 'pushed' through the DWM as it was able to manage and handle the final drawing faster than the games themselves. (Hint, it users a new buffer/transfer model than the games.)

With 8.1 the speed increases in the DWM offer even more of a bump in performance, especially when the DWM is active. Even in games that can lock out the DWM in fullscreen mode, users will find switching to Fullscreen Windowed will sometimes run faster, in addition to running faster when the game is running inside a window on the desktop.

A couple of other new features of DirectX also have side effect changes on existing games, especially with regard to the UI layer most games use. This alone can offer a 10-20% bump in performance on various games depending on how they implemented the UI in DirectX.

The last few updates to Windows 8.1 preview threw in a few of updates, and in our testing we found a few titles like GW2 and SWTOR get a significant bump in performance on Windows 8.1 easily outperforming Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Even if you hate the Modern UI, just ignore it, especially if you are a gamer and want the best performance possible.

Also with the upcoming Xbox One, there will be even more DX optimized titles that will have to make severe sacrifices to run on Windows 7 as its WDDM/WDM doesn't have the kernel level GPU features that Windows 8/8.1 does to pull of the new DX11.2 tricks that are rather impressive.

**Side Note Tip:
One reason the Xbox One will perform better than the PS4 and have higher quality graphics is based on the new features of DX11.2, especially the new texture tile features that ONLY can run on an NT kernel as it depends on a kernel level GPU scheduler.

deadonthefloor said,

Get over it already. The sooner the world embraces Modern, the less we'll have to train people, as they can feel empowered to explore without damaging the system.

If only I could get a dollar everytime the Windows 8 loyalists says this, I'd be rich. Embraces Modern? The world will not embrace it. Many will accept it but few will embrace it. Big difference.

JHBrown said,
If only I could get a dollar everytime the Windows 8 loyalists says this, I'd be rich. Embraces Modern? The world will not embrace it. Many will accept it but few will embrace it. Big difference.

True I'd be a millionaire too.

I can't wait for this update to come out for GA. I didn't try the preview b/c I didn't want to have to fresh install Windows 8 again before getting the final release, and I don't have a secondary machine to test it out on.

Who told you you'd ha to fresh install? I understood it to be just the modern apps that needed reinstalling? Can anybody confirm either way?

TCLN Ryster said,
Who told you you'd ha to fresh install? I understood it to be just the modern apps that needed reinstalling? Can anybody confirm either way?

I think desktop apps, too.

It behaves like "Refresh your PC" from "Change PC Settings". All your programs get wiped, but all your data stays. So you have to reinstall anything you've ever installed. Modern apps are insanely easy to reinstall(go to the store, right click, go to "Your Apps", click "Select All" at the bottom then click "Install"). It's all the traditional stuff that's a giant pain in the ass. I use 3 different versions of Visual Studio, 19 different vendors of libraries/tools, Office 2007, Thunderbird, SQL Management Studio, Skype for desktop, Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Safari, Paint.NET, 7-Zip, Inkscape, eDrawings Viewer, VLC, our proprietary stuff, POPTray, Adobe Reader. THEN get to start the zillions of updates on the MS installed stuff(how many .NET framework windows updates are there exactly?). Yeah, hold off until the full 8.1 unless you are doing it on a virtual machine or testing computer if you've got a ton of software.

@TCLN - MS came out and said there is no upgrade path from 8.1 Preview -> 8.1 Final. You can only do 8.0 -> 8.1 Final.

So if I had 8.1 Preview on my machine, I would have to fresh-install 8.0 and then do the 8.1 Final upgrade when it came out.

Indeed. I believe that since Vista, many people here have said that the build must be divisible by 16 and 10. 9500 is not divisible by 16.

Still some bugs in the preview, hopefully they work those out before release. Especially the web site DPI issues and the fact that none of the twitter apps have working "streaming api". That last one is just bizarre, what would make twitter streaming API fail? Must be network related, can't keep an open channel or something?

It just worries me a little with the short period of time between the preview and RTM (assuming this rumour is true of course). The preview is fairly buggy, even with the myriad of patches they've been pushing. I quite often now have to reboot my Surface RT because of UI elements just vanishing, including tiles, the clock digits, even desktop icons. Which is all fine, it's a beta after all. But has this update received sufficient testing to go RTM already?

Neobond said,
It didn't bother MS for Windows 8 did it?

No... because they had an entire year to work on Windows 8 between the developer preview and RTM... not 2 weeks...

rfirth said,

No... because they had an entire year to work on Windows 8 between the developer preview and RTM... not 2 weeks...

Developer preview was an alpha, these preview releases are better than beta, but not quite release candidates. Besides, the build date for the preview build is already 1.5 months old at this point since it needed to be escrowed and checked for any show stopper bugs long before BUILD at the end of June.

The preview version wasn't the most current build when it was released. It was a milestone build that was set aside and tested to make sure it was stable enough for distribution.

GreyWolf said,
The preview version wasn't the most current build when it was released. It was a milestone build that was set aside and tested to make sure it was stable enough for distribution.

Precisely. Many 8.1 features demoed aren't in the preview.
I have it on my Surface RT and AIO TouchSmart.

That it, I am starting my own rumors from now on
1- Microsoft is working secretly on Windows 9, and it is expected to go M1 at Oct 2013
2- The IE team is working secretly on IE12, yes it is 12, it will feature CSS4 and a bit from JavaScript 6, it is expected to be released at May 2014

It is not journalism anymore, it is rumoreizam

How does that Start Screen pictured above have empty spaces where tiles should go? When I try to arrange my tiles, Windows moves them so that they are lined up a certain... and none can be left "hanging." Is there a setting that allows this?

Yes, right click in the Start screen (not on a tile) and select Customize. You can then drag tiles around where you want, in new groups etc.

cybersaurusrex said,
How does that Start Screen pictured above have empty spaces where tiles should go? When I try to arrange my tiles, Windows moves them so that they are lined up a certain... and none can be left "hanging." Is there a setting that allows this?

What you're actually seeing is an effect of how the new smaller tiles work. Think of the smaller tiles as 2x2 clusters making up the original small tile space. As long as a cluster has something populating it, a new adjacent cluster can be started.

LOC said,
Nice. I'll install it ASAIA. I mean, it's no SP or anything, but it's something. Right?

Service Packs are dead. In fact their death has been a long time coming when you look at the history of them:
Windows 2000: 4 SPs
Windows XP: 3 SPs
Windows Vista: 2 SPs
Windows 7: 1 SP
Windows 8: 0 SP

3 reasons why they are going away:
1) They take a long time to qualify that would be better spend on developing new version of Windows.
2) The long time stigma of people waiting for SP1 before upgrading to a new OS.
3) The new yearly update cycle for Windows which makes doing service packs pointless.

Cyborg_X said,
It is a service pack, called Windows 8.1

It's clearly not a service pack when you look at all of the features it's adding.

dagamer34 said,

It's clearly not a service pack when you look at all of the features it's adding.


It is, sort of.. Service Packs traditionally didn't offer new features, or so they said.. XP SP2 was a Service Pack and a features update and several NT and 9x versions added features within Service Packs too.

Basically they are doing what dagamer34 said, offering patches for older versions of Windows only and doing a yearly cycle of new Windows versions instead of Service Packs that usually kept one version of Windows around for 3 years or longer.

dagamer34 said,

Service Packs are dead. In fact their death has been a long time coming when you look at the history of them:
Windows 2000: 4 SPs
Windows XP: 3 SPs
Windows Vista: 2 SPs
Windows 7: 1 SP
Windows 8: 0 SP

3 reasons why they are going away:
1) They take a long time to qualify that would be better spend on developing new version of Windows.
2) The long time stigma of people waiting for SP1 before upgrading to a new OS.
3) The new yearly update cycle for Windows which makes doing service packs pointless.

There was more than 3 Service packs for windows XP as there was SP2b and SP2c before service pack 3

Nope, haven't tried the preview yet. I didn't want to brick my Windows install (as unlikely as that might be) since I bought that cheapo Windows 8 upgrade deal and lost my Windows 7 disc.

Neobond said,

It is, sort of.. Service Packs traditionally didn't offer new features, or so they said.. XP SP2 was a Service Pack and a features update and several NT and 9x versions added features within Service Packs too.

It might have some technicalities of a service pack (collection of updates) but it is called Windows 8.1 for a reason and that is because it brings far more improvements and features than XP SP2.

I have to assume Microsoft coined the term "Service Pack" and I am assuming they are switching to the 8.1, 8.2 thing to remove the perception that this major update is more than just big fixes and minor improvements.

Its really a service pack that's disguised as a new OS that's all. Its just like with Windows 7 was just an updated Vista. Windows 8.1 for the most part is just windows 8.0 with start button and a few new features that's it. Its not going to be anything game changing. The Windows 8 haters still going to hate, just as the Vista haters still hated vista after its service packs. Yes I have installed the preview on at least 2 machines. It does not change my perception of the OS at all for good or bad.

Star-Pirate said,

There was more than 3 Service packs for windows XP as there was SP2b and SP2c before service pack 3

Same service pack, minor revisions.

2b was only to address a patent issue with a ActiveX controls, which was resolved in SP3 anyways.

2c was to add more product keys and only available to system builders for XP Pro and XP Pro N versions.

LOC said,
Nope, haven't tried the preview yet. I didn't want to brick my Windows install (as unlikely as that might be) since I bought that cheapo Windows 8 upgrade deal and lost my Windows 7 disc.
You can redownload a standalone installer from MS if it does go horribly wrong, assuming you downloaded from them originally.
I think you can still make a recovery disc or create an image backup of your whole install (although that latter option is being removed from 8.1).

Windows XP SP2 was originally supposed to be a new OS to be sold, codenamed XP Reloaded. The execs at Microsoft felt at the time that the new security features/enhancements (which brought Windows XP into alignment with the then-new Trusted Computing Initiative at Microsoft) were too important to charge for and expect people to pay to upgrade, so it was decided to make the whole upgrade available for free, as a service pack.