Microsoft are certainly steaming ahead with the development of Windows 8. The Release Preview is pretty close to the final product that will finally ship to the public and more news today suggests that Microsoft are certainly flying it and doing their very best to get Windows 8 out to manufacturers as soon as they can.
The latest reports suggest that Microsoft will have the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8 available for manufacturers by the end of July. Wzor, a well known Windows enthusiast who has been known to leak plenty of Windows information managed to get his hands on a screenshot of a copy of Windows 8 that was labelled RTM on Microsoft’s internal network.
Of course anyone could quite easily fake a screenshot like this so it’s by no means a solid piece of evidence. Wzor tipped Neowin that the build number for the final RTM of Windows 8 will be build 8500.0.120623-1707. There’s also something else worth noting here. Wzor reckons that the release date will be sometime between the 17th-20th of July, which also happens to be smack bang in the middle of Microsoft’s annual MGX conference.
It would make sense for Microsoft to announce the RTM as this event for a number of reasons. Firstly this event is primarily for Microsoft’s sales and marketing team to work their magic. Secondly, if Microsoft want to make sure that they can get a range of Windows 8 products out for the holiday season, they need to wrap Windows 8 up as soon as possible.
Microsoft followed a similar pattern with Windows 7. Windows 7 hit RTM status on the 22nd of July 2009, so three years later it looks like it’s successor will hit RTM status around that time too. This will give Microsoft and it’s OEM partners plenty of time to get Windows 8 products ready for the holiday period. Windows 7 landed in stores towards the end of October, bang on time for the holiday shopping season, and I’m sure Microsoft will be looking to do this again with Windows 8.