Microsoft's Windows 8.1: When will users get the final bit
Microsoft is closing in on its publicly stated target of the end of August for releasing to manufacturing Windows 8.1.
But many of those waiting for the new release are less interested in the RTM date than the date when they'll be able to grab the final bits. And Microsoft officials still have said nothing about when that will be.
Just this past weekend, a fairly recent build (9471) of the OS leaked to the Web. This is a pre-escrow build (as far as I know), but includes the new tutorial and navigation aids, which Microsoft officials said back in June would be coming to Windows 8.1 by RTM.
(Escrow builds are typically builds that are near-final milestone builds on which development stops while final testing is done. One of my sources said August 5 is when Windows 8.1 actually entered escrow.)
Microsoft execs said last month that the company would deliver Windows 8.1 RTM code to its OEMs by the end of August. I'm still hearing that Microsoft is on track to finalize Windows 8.1 the last week of August.
Unlike the case with Windows 8, however, I'm hearing scuttlebutt that Microsoft is not planning to make available the final Windows 8.1 bits to its MSDN or TechNet subscribers shortly after the release RTMs. In the case of Windows 8, Microsoft RTM'd on August 1 and made the RTM bits available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers in mid-August, even though consumers couldn't get the final version until late October 2012.
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