Microsoft has pulled another 180, this time allowing developers and IT professionals with MSDN and TechNet subscriptions to have access to the RTM — release to manufacturers — build of Windows 8.1.
The company had said on Aug. 27 that it had started releasing Windows 8.1 to manufacturers. But, in a departure from past practices, the RTM build was not available on that date to MSDN and TechNet subscribers — something that immediately raised the ire of such subscribers.
In a statement today, the company said:
Microsoft heard from the community that the decision to not initially release Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM bits was a big challenge for developer partners as they’re readying new Windows 8.1 apps and for IT professionals as they prepare for Windows 8.1 deployments.
The company recognizes the critical role developers play in building experiences for Windows that make our customers’ lives more productive and fun, as well as the time commercial customers need to best plan Windows 8.1 deployments.
Microsoft has been reversing course on several of its recent decisions lately after some of its announcements were greeted with loud criticism. Its Xbox One, for instance, which is launching in November, will no longer require an Internet connection that was on regularly.
Separately, the release candidate build of Visual Studio 2013 is now available for developers to download.