Over the past few months, Microsoft has been flip-flopping on decisions like a political candidate. What started with the Xbox One and its policy reversals has bled over to the Windows 8.1 team with the decision release the RTM bits ahead of the previously announced general availability date in October.
Previously, Microsoft has released RTM builds the same day, or close to, when they were sent to OEMs. But with Windows 8.1, Microsoft decided to hold back the bits and as, you can imagine, this made developers quite upset.
Internally at Microsoft, the battle for when to release Windows 8.1 was apparently a highly sensitive subject. There were teams fighting to hold back the platform, mostly for political reasons from what we were told, and then there were groups pushing to get it out as soon as possible, comprised mostly of the developer channels at Microsoft.
What is interesting to note is that Microsoft has released the same build on MSDN/TechNet as what was shipped to OEMs. The reason this is noteworthy is that many assumed Microsoft was holding back Windows 8.1 to make a few last-minute adjustments before developers were able to get their hands on the goods. Seeing that it is the exact same build, clearly Windows 8.1 RTM is a polished product and the reasoning for holding back the build was political, at best.
Thankfully, Microsoft did come to its senses and release Windows 8.1 RTM ahead of its previously stated schedule. Neowin was told that release of the platform was directly related to the feedback from the Microsoft community and our source wanted to make it clearly known that Microsoft does listen and this is the result of the outreach by developers.
Microsoft is quickly changing and doing away with the practices of yesterday, which is a good thing, as the company is quickly transforming under a new org structure and in the near future, a new CEO too.