Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed that it completed development of Windows 8.1 RTM, but sources close to the matter revealed that the company had already started shipping the OS update to OEMs around the world.
While a public announcement on RTM is expected this week, the company is said to try a different strategy with Windows 8.1, as it plans to prevent any leaks from reaching the web before the official launch date.
As you know, Windows 8.1 is set to arrive to the market in just a couple of months, with the public release to take place on October 18. Windows 8 adopters will be allowed to download it freely from the Store a day earlier.
According to information posted online by people familiar with the development process, Microsoft is now keeping an eye on everything related to Windows 8.1, as it wants to block any potential ISO from reaching the web without its consent.
While the company has always moved pretty quickly to take down leaked ISOs published on file sharing websites such as Mega, the tech giant is now struggling to keep the operating system available only internally, as a number of employees have already received the stable builds.
Leaked versions of Windows usually reached the web soon after RTM, most often because the company provided MSDN and TechNet subscribers with downloadable ISOs that could be easily cloned and published on torrent trackers and file sharing services.
Microsoft, on the other hand, is planning to restrict access to 8.1 RTM ISOs until at least early October for paying subscribers too, even though such a decision is very likely to cause a new avalanche of criticism.
The reasons behind this whole secrecy are yet to be disclosed, but Microsoft is believed to be trying to continue work on Windows 8.1 even after RTM, in an attempt to provide users with a bug-free operating system.