Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8 and Server 2012 have gone RTM and the final code is now in the hands of OEMs, ready to be tested and installed onto new systems.
MSDN and TechNet subscribers can download the final Windows 8 build on August 15, and Redmond's reseller network gets it a day later. So do those with Software Assurance contracts, who can download it via Microsoft's Volume License Service Center portal.
Subscribers to the Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions (MAPS) scheme get their chance to kick the tires (but not pirate) the new build on August 20, and Redmond's biggest corporate buyers who aren't on a Software Assurance contract will have to wait until September 1 before they see code.
Those interested in Windows Server 2012 have a slightly easier time of it. Now that the RTM is sorted the code will go on general release at a launch event on September 4, where Microsoft plans to pitch the software's cloudy credentials.
While Microsoft says it has completed the final builds on Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5, developers won't actually be able to download it until August 15. Redmond's also throwing in a free one-year developer account for Windows Store today for MSDN subscribers to test the water. Read more...