Microsoft announced today that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing (RTM). If you've been keeping up with the development of Windows 8, you already know that the official consumer release date for Microsoft's next generation operating system is October 26.
MSDN/TechNet members will get their first crack at Windows 8 on August 15. Members of Microsoft's Software Assurance program will have access one day later. Microsoft Action Pack Providers will be eligible on August 20 and Volume License customers can purchase the operating system on September 1.
As previously reported, customers can upgrade to Windows 8 via download for only $39.99 or $69.99 via a disc. For those that simply can't wait until October 26 to purchase a new computer, Microsoft is offering customers the chance to upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.99 via the Windows Upgrade Offer program.
Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky had this to say about the development of Windows 8:
Back when we first demonstrated Windows 8 in May 2011, we described it as “reimagining Windows, from the chipset to the experience,” and that is what Windows 8 (and Windows RT) represents for both Microsoft and partners. The collective work: from the silicon, to the user experience, to new apps, has been an incredibly collaborative effort. Together we are bringing to customers a new PC experience that readies Windows PCs for a new world of scenarios and experiences, while also preserving an industry-wide 25-year investment in Windows software.
And for those wondering, the final build number for Windows 8 RTM is 9200.16384.win8_rtm.120725-1247