1 August 2012: Today Microsoft announced that Windows 8 RTM is ready. What that means is, Microsoft has completed all feature developments and Windows 8 is ready for download or shipping to the partners. Also Microsoft has started doing all the background work required to make Windows 8 for general availability on its promised date - Oct 26, 2012.
The previous releases of Windows 8 were called Developer Preview, Consumer Preview and Release Preview respectively. All of the 3 previous preview releases of Windows 8 were available for download for free. However, Windows 8 RTM is not a test version and hence not available for free. If you need to use the RTM or later releases of Windows 8, you need a valid Windows 8 license.
How to download Windows 8 RTM version legally?
While the Windows 8 preview releases were free download, that is not the case with Windows 8 RTM. You cannot download Windows 8 RTM version for free. If you like to get your copy of Windows 8, you must have an MSDN license or should be part of other Microsoft programs which include licensed software. Buying a new Windows 8 computer or device would be another option.
Windows 8 RTM versions is available only for OEM partners and other partners of Microsoft. Microsoft has not announced how the software is made available to the OEM partners. I am pretty sure they will have dedicated download links for Windows 8 OEM version which are not available for public. For consumers like is, if we need the completed versions of Windows 8, we need to wait until the public release of Windows 8 on October 26.
Even though Windows 8 RTM download is not available for public, there are few options for partners, developers and the technical community:
Windows 8 RTM download for developers
If you are a developer and have a developer account with MSDN, you can download Windows 8 RTM code from your MSDN subscription account starting from August. The same is available for technet subscribers on the same day.
Microsoft Software Assurance customers and partners could get Windows 8 RTM on the next day - August 16th. On Sept 1, Microsoft Volume License Resellers will be able to provide Windows 8 RTM download for consumers.
Windows 8 RTM .ISO image download link
Microsoft offered the download links for previous releases of Windows including Windows 8 setup.exe and Windows 8 ISO images. However, there is no .iso download from Microsoft for free use. Only partners and paid subscribers will get access to the iso images of Windows 8 RTM.
How to download Windows 8 RTM from MSDN Subscriptions?
If you are an MSDN subscriber, you can get Windows 8 RTM after August 15, 2012. I know you are eager to try Windows 8 but you need to wait another 2 weeks.
On August 15th, visit the MSDN Subscriptions. You will see the link to download Windows 8 RTM.
|Guest Author: Jayadrathsingh 01 Aug 2012|
|WOW thanks for the info. i was waiting for RTM and i am having developer account too. will try out windows 8 RTM after 15th august.|
|Guest Author: mdfirdosh 11 Aug 2012|
|Thank you for sharing the information about downloading Windows 8 RTM. Lot of websites are talking about illegal ways of getting Windows 8 but you have provided the right information for downloading Windows 8 legally.|
|Guest Author: Beckham 13 Sep 2012|
|This article is very informative. Yes, Microsoft offering link for previous releases of Windows including Windows 8 setup.exe and Windows 8 ISO images. But now, there is no .iso download from Microsoft for free use.|