Last week, Microsoft allowed MSDN and TechNet subscribers to download and use the RTM version of Windows 8. Later in the same week, the Windows 8 Enterprise SKU was made available for current members of Microsoft's Software Assurance service to download. Gold or sliver competency members of the Microsoft Partner Network also got access to Windows 8.
Today, as previously promised, Microsoft allowed members of its Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) program to be the next in line to download the Windows 8 Pro RTM build. The announcement was made on the Microsoft US Partner Twitter page.
The next group of people who can (legally) download and use the RTM build of Windows 8 will be select college students and faculty members enrolled in Microsoft's DreamSpark program. They will be able to get their version starting on Saturday, August 25th.
On September 1st, Volume License customers without Software Assurance can purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers. Finally, the date the rest of the world is waiting for is October 26th. That's when Microsoft will allow regular consumers to purchase desktops, laptops and tablets with either Windows 8 or Windows RT pre-installed, or download the upgrade from an older Windows XP, Vista or 7 PC to Windows 8.
Source: Microsoft US Partner Twitter page | Image via Microsoft