Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 has been Released to Manufacturing (RTM). With this, industry partners are readying products in time for the Windows 8 worldwide launch on 26 October, 2012.
Select audiences, including developers, IT professionals and partners will have early access to the final RTM code beginning later this month. Highlights include:
Developers can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to all the tools and resources they need to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows Store. While all apps during the preview phases were free, with RTM, developers can begin charging for apps, so those with access to RTM bits will begin to see paid apps appear in the Windows Store.
Windows 8 will be generally available to customers on 26 October.
Microsoft had already announced a Windows 8 upgrade offer for consumers who purchase a new laptop or desktop PC with a brand new copy of original Windows 7. If you buy a PC with original versions of Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate which includes a matching and valid OEM Certificate of Authenticity (COA), then Indian consumers are entitled to a downloadable upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for a price of just Rs. 699. The Windows Upgrade Offer is valid from June 2, 2012 to January 31, 2013 and is redeemable before the programme expiration at the end of February 2013.
Microsoft has also revealed a limited-time offer that allows not only Windows 7 users, but also those stuck on Windows XP and Windows Vista to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just US $39.99 (roughly Rs. 2,200).
For those wanting to try a pre-release version of Windows 8 before general availability, the Windows 8 Release Preview is available to download here.