updated 12:59 pm EDT, Wed August 1, 2012
New OS released to manufacturers
Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system has officially been released to manufacturing. A post today on The Windows Blog confirmed the software's new status. The operating system is now with Microsoft's PC manufacturer partners, who are preparing their machines for launch.
Starting August 15, developers will be able to download the final version of the operating system through their MSDN subscriptions, and IT professionals testing the software will be able to access a final version through their TechNet subscriptions. Windows 8 Enterprise edition will be available to Microsoft Software Assurance customers on August 16, and Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8 on the same day. On September 1, Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.
The software has been known to be at or near the RTM stage for some time now. Last week, screenshots of the final build leaked to the Internet, revealing new touches the Windows 8 team had added to the operating system. Windows 8 will be widely available for purchase on October 26.