On August 1, Microsoft released Windows 8 to PC manufacturers. Starting August 15, developers can download this final build of the operating system from TechNet or MSDN and reviewers like me are finally allowed to write about the near-final version of Microsoft's big gamble for the future of Windows. The public release of the operating system and PCs running it won't happen until its General Availability on October 26. I got an early look, and tested the latest version of the OS by upgrading an Intel-based Windows 8 Samsung tablet to RTM. The public can still get a pretty close idea of what Microsoft's re-imagining of Windows is like by downloading the Release Preview and installing it on any Windows 7–capable hardware.
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