Windows 8 Release Preview has just been released and is available for download in 14 different languages. Although it’s the time for Release Preview, Microsoft is set to finalize the final version of Windows 8 RTM in the next two months. So Windows 8 RTM will be available to manufacturers in July 2012, hopefully. This has been leaked in a recent blog post on Windows 8 blog. According to Windows 8 blog:
Ultimately, our partners will determine when their PCs are available in market. If the feedback and telemetry on Windows 8 and Windows RT match our expectations, then we will enter the final phases of the RTM process in about 2 months. If we are successful in that, then we are tracking to our shared goal of having PCs with Windows 8 and Windows RT available for the holidays.
If we go back to Windows 7 releases, the RTM version of Windows 7 was also released in the month of July, 2009 but the retail version was only available in October, 2009. If Microsoft follows the same path, Windows 8 retail version will be available publicly in October 2012. This means that if Windows 8 is made available to the manufacturers in July 2012, the people who buy their computers after July will get their hands on Windows 8 RTM first. The people who want to buy only Windows 8 software and not the hardware will have to wait for a while to get their hands on the new Operating System.
Windows 8 upgrade in $14.99 for those who will buy a Windows 7 PC from now on until January 2013. I think this will also be available only when the retail version of Windows 8 is available to the masses.
Update: Microsoft has finally announced the final release date of Windows 8 RTM.