As that October release date draws nearer and nearer, the Windows 8 project begins the final stages of closing up the software, removing debugging code and ships off the final images to OEMs and partners who will get access to it first. The build number of the RTM is 9200, although you’ll no longer have the version number shown on the bottom-right corner of the screen in desktop mode.
What today’s announcement lacks in pricing information it more than makes up for with concrete dates. Hit the jump for more info.
So there’s only a few prices floating around for upgrading your OS to Windows 8. There’s the R150 upgrade price if you bought a new computer starting from June this year and extends all the way to January 2013. There’s also the upgrade price by buying the update from Microsoft’s website or getting the upgrade pack off the shelf, costing around R400 to move qualifying versions of Windows XP, Vista and 7 to their equivalents in Windows 8. If you’re uncertain about how the upgrade process will work, I detailed it a while ago for your convenience.
One of the biggest things to look forward to, especially if you’re using the Release Preview right now, is the official opening of the Microsoft Store to the public and developers. From now on we’ll start seeing new apps launching daily as developers get hold of the RTM code for further tests before launching their apps on the store. In addition, if you’re a Microsoft partner in any kind of capacity, you’ll be getting early access to the final edition of Windows 8 this month. For those who want to mark it on their calendars:
August 15th: Developers building new apps for Windows 8 will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via MSDN subscriptions, and can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to the final build of Visual Studio 2012.
August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through a TechNet subscription.
August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
In addition, the October 26 launch (now officially confirmed by the company) will also be the debut of the Windows 8 Surface tablets, a product launch that Microsoft hopes will be similarly snapped up by buyers who are looking for tablets that offer the same kind of experience Google Nexus owners are treated to – a pristine, uncluttered machine devoid of the kind of bloatware that everyone installs after their first boot.
As for me, I’ll consider moving to 8 when its available. That’s not to say that I like it, or all of it, right now but it is something I’ll consider for the sake of keeping up with the rest of the world and the ever-changing face of technology. If you’re a Windows 7 user, you’re not missing out on much yet. Stick to your 64-bit installs and play some games.