If you happen to be a gold or sliver competency member of the Microsoft Partner Network, today is the day you have likely been waiting for. As previously promised by Microsoft, those partner members can now download the RTM build of Windows 8, following its release Wednesday for MSDN and TechNet subscribers and today's release of Windows 8 Enterprise for current members of Microsoft's Software Assurance service.
In a post on its Partner Network website, Jon Roskill, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for the Worldwide Partner Group, wrote:
We are boosting resources and support for your Windows 8 sales and marketing efforts. The partner portal is a great place to start for new Windows 8 training materials. There are several new presentations in the Partner Marketing Center that you can use in your customer conversations. Partners also have access to four video trainings, with several additional trainings available in the weeks ahead.
Roskill also reminded the company's partners that official support for Windows XP, which is still used by many businesses and consumers, will end on April 8, 2014. That means a number of businesses might finally decide to ditch Windows XP in favor of Windows 8. Roskill said that partners should "use the training and marketing resources in your customer conversations" for discussing such upgrade programs.
The next release date deadline for Windows 8 is Monday, August 20th, when Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) can get the RTM version. On September 1st, Volume License customers without Software Assurance can purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers. Finally, the big date is October 26th, when Microsoft releases Windows 8 for consumers.
Source: Microsoft Partner Network blog