Microsoft released the final public test build of their Windows 8 operating system, the Windows 8 Release Preview on 31st May 2012.
Here is what you can expect now – a select group of partners and testers will be provided with some more release candidate preview builds privately in all likelihood so that they can see and review the little tweaks that the software engineers make before the Windows 8 operating system is ready for manufacturing.
Some of the changes from the current version of Windows that you can be sure of include the removal of the Windows Aero interface, which was acknowledged by some officials from Microsoft in a blog post back in May. Another tweak that is expected is an under-the-hood code change that will stop users from using start buttons developed by third parties, or altering their computers to boot directly to the Desktop bypassing the Metro Start screen.
The official word from Microsoft is that the final phases of the released to manufacturing process will conclude within a couple of months if the final tweaks work as they are intended to. As such, we can expect the final RTM date to about the last day of July. Most of my private sources tell me that Microsoft is telling their inner circle that the RTM for the Windows 8 operating system will happen in July. As far as I am concerned, the RTM will happen much before that and July 30 is the ultimate deadline that the company will not miss at any cost.
Microsoft is expected to make the codes available to PC makers who will look forward to creating their final images and starting loading it onto their new PCs, once Windows 8 is released for manufacture. Volume Licensing customers – the Enterprise users will have the option to download Windows 8 shortly after the RTM this summer. However, retail customers may have to wait till October at the very least to get their hands on the latest OS from Microsoft. It is safe to assume that the company will take a few months before the official launch of their product considering the fact that the same happened with Windows 7, which RTM’d in July and launched in October.
Once Windows 8 hits the shelves worldwide, Microsoft is expected to continue its update programs. The company is more or less sure to change the code from time to time as we have seen with Windows 7. Regular fixes and updates will come via Windows Update.
If you want to take a quick look at windows 8, click here.