Windows 8 is now the finished article, as the new Microsoft OS gets set to be “released to manufacturing” (RTM). However, the average consumer will still have to wait until 26 October.

That Microsoft is in a position to begin rolling out an RTM Windows 8 version means all testing and development have been completed. 

Initially the RTM code will be released to OEM partners, those who will be working on a range of Windows 8 PCs and tablets ready for the 26 October launch. 

From 15 August, developers with MSDN subscriptions and IT professionals with TechNet subscriptions who need to test Windows 8 for wider organisational use will be able to download the final version of Windows 8

The following day, customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will also be able to access Windows 8 Enterprise Edition, while Microsoft Partner Network members will also be able to get Windows 8.

Finally, from 20 August, Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) will be granted access before Volume License customers who don’t have Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 from 1 September.

For the consumer this time frame may cause frustration, but what it should mean is that by the 26 October launch, Windows 8 will be a polished OS will a host of apps available for download.

Will you be purchasing Windows 8? Tell us why in the comments below....

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