Windows 8 screenshotOvernight, we've announced that Windows 8 has reached the 'Release To Manufacturing' (RTM) stage. There's a pile of detail on the Building Windows 8 blog, including details on both the release of Windows 8 and the Windows Store. One of the questions I know you might have is when it means you can get it. Although the full retail release is scheduled for October 26th, Australian education customers will be able to get their hands on the full release version earlier through the subscription programmes, such as our Enrolment for Education Solutions (which is the Microsoft Volume Licence programme that most education customers use in Australia), or subscriptions like MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network).

The Windows Team Blog has details on the release dates through these schemes:

 
  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organisations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume Licence Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organisation.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume Licence customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.
 

So most education customers will be able to install the fully released version this month on their existing PCs!

Learn MoreHead over to the Windows Team blog for more info on the Windows 8 release timeline