Download Windows 8.1 RTM, Visual Studio 2013 RC and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM Today

Download Windows 8.1 RTM, Visual Studio 2013 RC and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM Today

Starting today, we will extend availability of our current Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM builds to the developer and IT professional communities via MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. The Windows 8.1 RTM Enterprise edition will be available through MSDN and TechNet for businesses later this month. Additionally, today we’re making available the Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate which you can download here.

We heard from you that our decision to not initially release Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM bits was a big challenge for our developer partners as they’re readying new Windows 8.1 apps and for IT professionals who are preparing for Windows 8.1 deployments. We’ve listened, we value your partnership, and we are adjusting based on your feedback. As we refine our delivery schedules for a more rapid release cadence, we are working on the best way to support early releases to the various audiences within our ecosystem.

In providing the best developer tools to our customers, Visual Studio 2013 RC enables development teams to build, deliver and manage compelling apps that take advantage of today’s devices and services. With the release of Visual Studio 2013 RC, we’ve made available additional features and functionality to enhance developer and development team productivity and agility. For more information of what’s new in Visual Studio 2013 see today’s blog post from S. Somasegar.

With these updated platform and tools bits, developers will be able to build and test their Windows 8.1 apps. The RTM versions of tools, services, and platform are required for store submissions which will open up for new Windows 8.1 apps beginning at general availability on October 18.

Given the accelerated rate of technological advancement we continue to see in the industry and here at Microsoft, it’s an exciting time to be an app builder. We recognize the critical role developers play—the breadth of our apps ecosystem is a key pillar of the Windows experience. It’s an essential end-to-end relationship – we deliver the tools, services and platform to give developers the flexibility and opportunity to innovate and build experiences for Windows that make all our lives more productive and fun. 

We also recognize that our commercial customers need time to perform application compatibility and other testing and validation to best plan for their Windows 8.1 deployments following general availability on October 18.

The primary purpose of Windows 8.1 RTM and Visual Studio 2013 RC availability is for testing as our engineering teams continue to refine and update the product and tools in preparation for Windows 8.1 general availability on October 18 and the release of Visual Studio 2013 RTW.  Third party apps may require final refinement to onboard into the Windows Store at the October 18 GA milestone.  However, we’re confident this pre-release will enable developers to ready their Windows 8.1 apps for customers while validating their existing apps function as expected on Windows 8.1

Similarly, we continue to validate the Windows Server 2012 R2 software with our partners and expect to make further updates to the build for general availability on October 18 as well. 

We are pleased to provide non-production support for Windows Store app development and testing for Windows 8.1, via forums and assisted support channels.  For links to those resources, along with existing Windows 8 support options, please visit the Dev Center support options page. We will also provide assisted support for Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM through standard commercial support channels.

We are excited about the innovation we are delivering in such a short amount of time, and are pleased to be able to share these pre-releases with the communities.  Thanks for your continued support and feedback, you can reach out to me anytime, either using the comments here or on twitter @StevenGuggs.

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  • Hi, for Windows8, I had two keys available: one German and one English

    Now it seems there is only one available for 8.1 RTM? Both language ISOs have the same key, so I guess I won't be able to upgrade both machines to 8.1?

    Thank you.

  • @blueshiftlabs - Thanks for info, so everyone with 8.0 will need to buy 8.1 keys? That doesnt make sense?

    I have MSDN, but was not using it, as was under impression that 8.1 was an upgrade, and we dont need new keys.

  • @Guggs or anyone that can reach MS for feedback,

    It seems that upgrading from Win8 to 8.1 RTM is not possible if you are on VHD/VHDX.

    In Win8 installation, there was a related warning (Cannot install Windows on virtual drive) that you could safely ignore. In Win 8.1 the warning has become a blocking prompt and you cannot continue.

    Will GA offer a valid upgrade path for the above case ?

  • Any news on a release date for 8.1 RSAT?

  • Good luck trying to download this stuff from MSDN on a Windows 8 machine. The Akamai download manager will not work and restrictions (via cookies) prevent you from using a normal download manager. Bloody awful experience, you have to download 3gb+ in the browser and hope to hell that it doesn't crap out (which it will).

  • E porque não disponibiliza a ISO do windows 8.1 para todos

  • Thanks for the additional questions.  @DrPhilGood - when we release at GA this will not require a key, however installing off the ISO can prompt for a key if it is a clean install

    @No upgrade if Win8 is on VHD - First, let me say, I'm impressed that you created your user name to reflect the actual issue you were reporting. :)  On actual upgrade at GA, if you are doing through a virtual machine, and you update, the update should come through the Store, so you will not any workaround

  • Also, want to clarify for some questions on types of subscribers that have access.  Lots of questions on Action Pack subscribers.  I've confirmed that both Solution Provide and Development & Design subscribers can access 8.1 bits.  They are available to all MSDN subscribers.

    As far as MAPS subscribers go, those will be available at GA.  If you have a MAPS-DD subscription, you should have access today through MSDN.  Hope that helps clear even more up.

  • @Tim Boothby - No news on 8.1 RSAT, (Remote Server Administration Tools) this will follow normal release and should be available at GA.

  • I have Windows 8 Enterprise. I tried the 8.1 ISO, and can't upgrade.  I tried a retail key, still  no joy. Tried the regular key, still no joy. All from MSDN of course.

  • For those who've been having a problem upgrading and keeping all the apps and settings -- you possibly having been trying to install the wrong edition. If you currently have Windows 8 Pro, you should get an 8.1 *Pro* key from MSDN. Otherwise only the "Keep personal files only" will be available.

  • @Guggs "I've confirmed that both Solution Provide and Development & Design subscribers can access 8.1 bits."

    I am a "Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider" subscriber and I do not have access to the 8.1/2012 R2 ISOs on my downloads page.  

  • @Paul Newell - Are you a MAPS-DD partner, if so, you should be able to access now through MSDN.  If you are part of the MAPS-SP program, you won't see it in the downloads right now.  This is something we've flagged internally, but don't have any follow up on just yet.  Thanks

  • @Upgrader

    Many thanks - your comments about correct version solved it - I had downloaded the non UK version for some reason and of course needed the UK version.


  • We identified on problem introduced in 8.1 with Metro mode browser. Seems the metro mode browser doesn't register itself as shell window as it do desktop mode browser and metro in Win 8. Is this by design or this is issue which will be fixed? Our product is using that registration and we need to understand why it was removed.

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