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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Windows 8 released to manufacturers

Microsoft announced today that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing, marking a major milestone on its road to general availability launch on Oct. 26.

Release to manufacturing (RTM) means the product has completed development and testing, and manufacturers now have the final code to begin building new Windows 8 devices. It’s the last major milestone before launch.

With the RTM, Microsoft is also launching the Windows Store commerce platform, where developers can publish and offer paid apps.

Coming up, developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via MSDN subscriptions on Aug. 15, according to Microsoft, while IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through TechNet subscriptions.

On Aug. 16, customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), and Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.

With the general availability on October 26, consumers will be able to buy Windows 8 either by upgrading or on a new PC. (Microsoft currently has an upgrade offer, where eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased now qualify for an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99.)

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