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Microsoft Denying Developers Access to Windows 8.1 RTM

By - Source: Microsoft | B 26 comments

No one is getting the new Windows 8.1 RTM build except for OEMs, not even developers.

Microsoft finally confirmed on Tuesday that Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 has shipped off to partners, AKA RTM, indicating that the company is on track to deliver the updated platform in October. The company also admitted that it's breaking tradition by withholding the golden RTM bits until the actual October 18 release date. Prior to Windows 8.1, Microsoft typically released the bits early to MSDN, TechNet and its volume-license customers.

"In the past, the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use," the company said. "However, it’s clear that times have changed, with shifts to greater mobility and touch as well as the blurring of work and personal lives. As such, we’ve had to evolve the way we develop and the time in which we deliver to meet customers with the experience they need, want and expect."

ZDnet points out – as does Microsoft actually – that RTM doesn't mean what it used to. For starters, Microsoft has seemingly switched over to a ten-month development mode, and will continuously "evolve" the platform with patches and additional improvements. Secondly, Windows 8.1 technically went RTM on Friday, August 23: it reached a point where the team decided it was good enough for OEMs. Microsoft didn't mention this in Tuesday's announcement, but rather said that the updated OS is now being served up to device partners only. Everyone else gets Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 on October 18.

"This is the date when Windows 8.1 will be broadly available for commercial customers with or without volume licensing agreements, our broad partner ecosystem, subscribers to MSDN and TechNet, as well as consumers," the company stated.

This also means developers won't have access to the new Windows 8.1 bits until then either. Microsoft hinted to this during BUILD 2013 earlier this year, telling developers that if they want to take advantage of the new features provided in the update, they would need to rely on Visual Studio 2013 preview and the Windows 8.1 consumer preview to update their apps prior to the October 18 launch.

"While apps built for Windows 8 still run on Windows 8.1, you’ll need to migrate your apps to take advantage of all these new features and give your customers the experience they’ll expect when Windows 8.1 is available," the company said. "We’ve tried to make the migration experience as straightforward as possible for you. Depending on the features your app supports, you might need to make some additional API and functionality changes to your apps."

Microsoft's decision to refrain from producing the RTM build early will likely push many Windows 8 users into downloading RTM builds that are already trickling onto the internet ahead of the official launch. Naturally Microsoft suggests that customers either install the current Windows 8.1 preview build, or wait for the official bits in October. There's no telling what extra "goodies" will be packed inside these leaks.

Currently Microsoft has not provided pricing for Windows 8.1. The update will reportedly be free for current Windows 8 customers, but it's unknown how much it will cost for Windows 7 users and older. There's a good chance Microsoft will re-introduce the $40 upgrade promotion for these customers until sometime in mid-January 2014.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    ddpruitt , August 28, 2013 12:39 PM
    You know there's something wrong with the comment system when even the neighbor's step aunt makeing $87 is posting the same thing 3 times.
  • 11 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , August 28, 2013 12:01 PM
    and there is a very good chance that many windows 7 users won't even touch the windows 8.1 promotion deal. if you don't like windows 8, you're not going to like windows 8.1, either because none of the features that many users have complained about isn't in windows 8.1 either which are no real start menu, no disable of metro function and no aero glass option. if ms would just give those options to users it would attract many more windows 7 users to jump to windows 8, but seeing as this is ms not listening to the customers doesn't surprise me.
Other Comments
  • -2 Hide
    Estix , August 28, 2013 11:46 AM
    Well this isn't suspicious at all.
  • Display all 26 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , August 28, 2013 12:01 PM
    and there is a very good chance that many windows 7 users won't even touch the windows 8.1 promotion deal. if you don't like windows 8, you're not going to like windows 8.1, either because none of the features that many users have complained about isn't in windows 8.1 either which are no real start menu, no disable of metro function and no aero glass option. if ms would just give those options to users it would attract many more windows 7 users to jump to windows 8, but seeing as this is ms not listening to the customers doesn't surprise me.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , August 28, 2013 12:04 PM
    I wonder how 8.1 will affect start8 users?
  • 5 Hide
    Parsian , August 28, 2013 12:06 PM
    No more "developers developers developers!!!" ???
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , August 28, 2013 12:06 PM
    No more "developers developers developers!!!" ???
  • -2 Hide
    Parsian , August 28, 2013 12:07 PM
    No more "developers developers developers!!!" ???
  • 2 Hide
    bigpoppastuke , August 28, 2013 12:20 PM
    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
  • 0 Hide
    iamthepieman , August 28, 2013 12:35 PM
    DPOD, I use Start8 with the Windows 8.1 beta. It works fine. The only wonky thing about it is that sometimes it ignores my configuration regarding when to bring up the metro menu and when to bring up the Start8 menu.
  • 12 Hide
    ddpruitt , August 28, 2013 12:39 PM
    You know there's something wrong with the comment system when even the neighbor's step aunt makeing $87 is posting the same thing 3 times.
  • 7 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , August 28, 2013 1:59 PM
    "However, it’s clear that times have changed, with shifts to greater mobility and touch as well as the blurring of work and personal lives. As such, we’ve had to evolve the way we develop and the time in which we deliver to meet customers with the experience they need, want and expect."

    I can't stand this conference room inspired, focus group tested crap. Fire these business major clowns and put some engineers and programmers in charge. Microsoft took their complete market domination and flushed it straight down the toilet with their corporate blundering.
  • -3 Hide
    damianrobertjones , August 28, 2013 2:03 PM
    "Microsoft Denying Developers Access to Windows 8.1 RTM"

    "would need to rely on Visual Studio 2013 preview and the Windows 8.1 consumer preview to update their apps prior to the October 18 launch."

    Way to spin something into a negative headline and article. Sickens me that this is what journalism has become. Oh well this is the way it is now.
  • -3 Hide
    bluestar2k11 , August 28, 2013 2:22 PM
    "There's no telling what extra "goodies" will be packed inside these leaks."

    Likely a lot less garbage then MS and OEM's will put in there.

    If microsoft would let me disable metro at installation, I might care about 8. Just a little. But as it stands, I don't really. I've fiddled with 8, it's an uglier version of the 360 dashboard, but just as unintuitive. Plus with no reason worth bothering to upgrade, why bother? 7 works perfectly for me.

    If microsoft wants consumers to buy their OS, they need to not only listen to them, and give them what they want, because customers know what they want, but give them a reason to buy it. A tablet interface apparently wasn't something people wanted. Certainly wasn't something I wanted.
  • 4 Hide
    Vladislaus , August 28, 2013 2:38 PM
    Quote:
    "Microsoft Denying Developers Access to Windows 8.1 RTM"

    "would need to rely on Visual Studio 2013 preview and the Windows 8.1 consumer preview to update their apps prior to the October 18 launch."

    Way to spin something into a negative headline and article. Sickens me that this is what journalism has become. Oh well this is the way it is now.


    This subject IS a negative one. How can someone turn this news into a positive article. Are you and Microsoft expecting developers to code, test and release their final version of the software using a preview release of the OS and IDE. This was the purpose of TechNet and MSDN, so that developers can have their software ready for launch. Apparently Steve Ballmer's cry for developers, developers, developers,... is going down the drain.
  • 1 Hide
    m32 , August 28, 2013 3:19 PM
    I'm sure the developers software is still going to work.
  • 2 Hide
    opmopadop , August 28, 2013 3:40 PM
    Vladislaus : Win 8.1 Beta has provided my team of developers enough to code around the changes.

    I cant speak for all developers out there but IE11 was the only change that required 'bug fixing', and there are some under-the-hood DLL changes (for accessing GPS) that are a great step forward.

    Im just saying that your negativity towards developers not having access to the latest cut of Win 8.1 is untrue as I have been working with a solid build for the last few months and if I require a RTM build then I'm not doing my job properly as a developer.
  • 7 Hide
    opmopadop , August 28, 2013 3:50 PM
    Toms : Speaking of developers... FOR FUCK SAKE ROLL BACK TO THE PREVIOUS COMMENTS SYSTEM.

    This version truly sucks and this is my rant. How the fuck is this a 'new' version when I cant reply, I cant find an edit button, the text window is fucking tiny with no scroll bars, and re-posting on refresh... omg does anyone test their shit anymore?

    Get the developer responsible and the QA team (you do qa, right?) in my office NOW and I will show him/her how to do the job preoperly... Bring lots of coffee!

    Who the fuck lets bugs go unfixed for more than an hour these days anyway, come on Toms throw your weight around and get something done... or... Just let it go another two months cause thats a smart idea. If a developer tells you something will take weeks to fix and deploy YOU GET ANOTHER DEVELOPER!
  • 0 Hide
    althaz , August 28, 2013 9:56 PM
    As a developer I don't feel like there's anything to complain about here: the consumer preview is feature-complete in terms of the API.

    As a consumer, I want to put Windows 8.1 on my PC! Of course I COULD use the Preview for that, but it's not upgradable to the final version which makes it totally not worth it.
  • 0 Hide
    Vladislaus , August 29, 2013 12:46 AM
    Quote:
    Vladislaus : Win 8.1 Beta has provided my team of developers enough to code around the changes.

    I cant speak for all developers out there but IE11 was the only change that required 'bug fixing', and there are some under-the-hood DLL changes (for accessing GPS) that are a great step forward.

    Im just saying that your negativity towards developers not having access to the latest cut of Win 8.1 is untrue as I have been working with a solid build for the last few months and if I require a RTM build then I'm not doing my job properly as a developer.


    I'm not saying that Windows 8.1 Preview isn't solid, but it isn't upgradable to the final version, which is going to annoy a lot of developers.
  • 0 Hide
    acyuta , August 29, 2013 1:18 AM
    They can download the leaked (hopefully original) ISO as of now
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , August 29, 2013 1:28 AM
    Most developers know about bittorrent right? Problem solved
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