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Microsoft Offers Developers Early Access to Windows 8.1 RTM

By - Source: Microsoft | B 17 comments

Microsoft changes its mind.

In late August, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 8.1 had hit RTM. Redmond also surprised developers with the announcement that it would be 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. However, it seems Microsoft has changed its mind on the issue.

In a blog post published yesterday, Microsoft said that it would be making its current Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows Server 2012 RT RTM builds available to developers and IT professionals. This will happen via MSDN and TechNet. Additionally, Microsoft says the current Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM build will be available for businesses later this month, and the Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate is already available for download.

"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," Microsoft's Steve 'Guggs' Guggenheimer said in a blog post. "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."

The only version left out of this week's about face is Windows 8.1 RT, but determined developers will be able to find that online through ... other channels.

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  • 1 Hide
    knightmike , September 10, 2013 4:18 PM
    ...
    There are no words for how I feel right now. Is this some sort of publicity / loyalty stunt? Some sort of psychological experiment?

    Inside Microsoft: Let's make an announcement that we're cutting off developers. Of course this will cause negative feedback. Then, we'll pretend like we've taken the feedback into consideration and decide to re-include developers. This will paint us as a company that makes decisions based on customer feedback. You know what, let's do this with the Xbox One as well.

    Mindless sheep: You know what? I like Microsoft. They listen to me. They value my feedback. They've earned a customer for life.
  • -2 Hide
    alextheblue , September 10, 2013 4:32 PM
    You're right, knightmike! They shouldn't listen to feedback at all. How dare they reverse a bad decision!

    You should probably nerdrage about it in the comment section. Oh wait...
  • 2 Hide
    knightmike , September 10, 2013 4:44 PM
    I think you missed the point I was trying to make. They didn't listen to feedback. They pretended to listen to feedback. They knew what the feedback was going to be. They didn't need a crystal ball for that. They made a bad decision on purpose so that they could later reverse it after "listening" to feedback.

    I'll go ahead and list you under "Mindless Sheep".
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • -3 Hide
    pjmelect , September 10, 2013 4:46 PM
    Talking of reversing bad decisions, They haven't reversed their decisions about the start button and the Windows 8 interface in general.
  • 0 Hide
    sean1357 , September 10, 2013 5:33 PM
    Because they OS is not that great. They couldn't get enough developers to write Apps for Windows 8.1... so then they don't give a shit about it....

    Look at Apple, compilers are FREE, FREE, FREE ... Xcodes
  • 0 Hide
    r3dl1n3 , September 10, 2013 8:00 PM
    Since they are getting rid of technet software downloads I wasn't really surprised. However I am glad that they changed their mind.. It didn't really matter though because my software licensing already had windows 8.1 keys listed.. Now I can grab the authentic I so rather than using the leaked ones..
  • 0 Hide
    r3dl1n3 , September 10, 2013 8:00 PM
    Since they are getting rid of technet software downloads I wasn't really surprised. However I am glad that they changed their mind.. It didn't really matter though because my software licensing already had windows 8.1 keys listed.. Now I can grab the authentic I so rather than using the leaked ones..
  • -1 Hide
    r3dl1n3 , September 10, 2013 8:01 PM
    Since they are getting rid of technet software downloads I wasn't really surprised. However I am glad that they changed their mind.. It didn't really matter though because my software licensing already had windows 8.1 keys listed.. Now I can grab the authentic I so rather than using the leaked ones..
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 10, 2013 11:23 PM
    So, MikeKnight, they are pretending to listen, upsetting people on purpose just to try and win them back? That is so retarded, you need to go for a catscan. If anything the reversed decisions have hurt innovation, especially the XB1 reversal, the whole world has gone digital but because people demanded it we are now capitulating on physical discs and why? To prop up a parasitic 2nd hand game market.
  • 1 Hide
    whitecrowro , September 11, 2013 12:21 AM
    I have it installed alreay for 2 weeks, licensed and registred on MS. No developer though
  • -2 Hide
    pjmelect , September 11, 2013 1:01 AM
    Talking of reversing bad decisions, They haven't reversed their decisions about the start button and the Windows 8 interface in general.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 11, 2013 5:11 AM
    Quote:
    So, MikeKnight, they are pretending to listen, upsetting people on purpose just to try and win them back? That is so retarded, you need to go for a catscan. If anything the reversed decisions have hurt innovation, especially the XB1 reversal, the whole world has gone digital but because people demanded it we are now capitulating on physical discs and why? To prop up a parasitic 2nd hand game market.


    I'm sorry but these reversals are not the fault of the consumers. How long has Microsoft been in business? I think by now they should be able to do adequate market research before making such drastic decisions that are destined to end in massive backlash.

    It should have been very clear to them that the decisions they made involving Win8 and XB1 were going to be incredibly unpopular given that they went against everything the consumers have been used to up to this point.
  • -1 Hide
    alextheblue , September 11, 2013 5:43 PM
    Quote:
    I think you missed the point I was trying to make. They didn't listen to feedback. They pretended to listen to feedback. They knew what the feedback was going to be. They didn't need a crystal ball for that. They made a bad decision on purpose so that they could later reverse it after "listening" to feedback.

    I'll go ahead and list you under "Mindless Sheep".


    I'll go ahead and list you under "Tinfoil Lidded Meat Popsicle". Do you honestly think MS has won goodwill from this or the XB1 debacles? This has hurt them more than helped them - that much is plain to see. You're living, trolling proof.

    But with your infinite wisdom and insider knowledge I'm sure you've got all sorts of documentation to prove that MS planned this all along. Right? Oh wait...

    Here's a thought: Big corporations are cumbersome organizations, and they screw up a lot. The good ones pull it out of the fire before it gets burnt to a crisp.
  • 1 Hide
    stevejnb , September 11, 2013 8:46 PM
    Quote:
    ...
    There are no words for how I feel right now. Is this some sort of publicity / loyalty stunt? Some sort of psychological experiment?

    Inside Microsoft: Let's make an announcement that we're cutting off developers. Of course this will cause negative feedback. Then, we'll pretend like we've taken the feedback into consideration and decide to re-include developers. This will paint us as a company that makes decisions based on customer feedback. You know what, let's do this with the Xbox One as well.

    Mindless sheep: You know what? I like Microsoft. They listen to me. They value my feedback. They've earned a customer for life.


    Are you one of those people who thinks that the Kinect is watching you, so you have to put on a tin foil hat thinking the Kinect is watching you?

    Seriously though, it's not "cool" for ANYONE to like Microsoft like it is for them to like Apple or Android or Samsung or Sony or whatever. It's viewed as some stodgy old company with a lame CEO that is on the decline, and has a recent history of misses with products and some anti-trust stuff in the 90's. MS is just, again, not "cool" and there aren't really people who flock together to show off their latest Windows or Surface or whatever. Maybe XBOX, but it's definitely the exception out of Microsoft's product lineup, and it's certainly not cool to like the latest iteration of it. Instead of making big fads of it, people just use their stuff and life goes on. The thing is, in the face of all these competing companies which it IS cool to like, which has people showing off their new Galaxy tab or iPhone, etc, it becomes cool to dislike Microsoft - to hang around the virtual water cooler and talk about how Windows 8 is the worst thing to ever happen to computing whether you've tried it or not, or go on about how the XBOX One will read your credit card numbers and give them to terrorists. Simply put, it's cool to bash MS and talk about how evil there are, and type their name with a dollar sign in it and such.

    The question you have to ask yourself is this - who are the sheep here, the people who like their stuff because it works for them, or the people who go out of their way to invent outlandish stories to further justify their dislike? Are you really suggesting it's those hordes of kids who are going to school to show off their new Surface tablet and Windows Phone, telling all their friends how cool they are because the Surface has Windows RT on it? Please... There is a sheep bleating here, but I think you'd have to look in a mirror to see it.
  • 0 Hide
    Jobe Killo , September 13, 2013 8:08 AM
    You see, MS is in this crazy mind set that they think the only opinion is their own. Hence, the reason people are migrating away from them. Maybe, if they would embrace the developers then their market share would stop falling.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , September 13, 2013 2:18 PM
    Quote:
    You see, MS is in this crazy mind set that they think the only opinion is their own. Hence, the reason people are migrating away from them. Maybe, if they would embrace the developers then their market share would stop falling.


    Seeing as this is an article about them listening to the opinions of others and giving developers early access, does your post really make sense in the context of that?
  • 0 Hide
    kunzinator , September 16, 2013 2:13 AM
    Quote:
    Stevejnb said
    Are you one of those people who thinks that the Kinect is watching you, so you have to put on a tin foil hat thinking the Kinect is watching you?

    Seriously though, it's not "cool" for ANYONE to like Microsoft like it is for them to like Apple or Android or Samsung or Sony or whatever. It's viewed as some stodgy old company with a lame CEO that is on the decline, and has a recent history of misses with products and some anti-trust stuff in the 90's. MS is just, again, not "cool" and there aren't really people who flock together to show off their latest Windows or Surface or whatever. Maybe XBOX, but it's definitely the exception out of Microsoft's product lineup, and it's certainly not cool to like the latest iteration of it. Instead of making big fads of it, people just use their stuff and life goes on. The thing is, in the face of all these competing companies which it IS cool to like, which has people showing off their new Galaxy tab or iPhone, etc, it becomes cool to dislike Microsoft - to hang around the virtual water cooler and talk about how Windows 8 is the worst thing to ever happen to computing whether you've tried it or not, or go on about how the XBOX One will read your credit card numbers and give them to terrorists. Simply put, it's cool to bash MS and talk about how evil there are, and type their name with a dollar sign in it and such.

    The question you have to ask yourself is this - who are the sheep here, the people who like their stuff because it works for them, or the people who go out of their way to invent outlandish stories to further justify their dislike? Are you really suggesting it's those hordes of kids who are going to school to show off their new Surface tablet and Windows Phone, telling all their friends how cool they are because the Surface has Windows RT on it? Please... There is a sheep bleating here, but I think you'd have to look in a mirror to see it.


    Thank you for that! I am a guy in my mid 20's and barring the internet this is the generally attitude I see and it drives me nuts. I can't stand how everyone will just bash Microsoft for everything no matter what they do. I love the oh so cute way they always spell M$ in their silly little dollar sign ways. I could rant forever on all the hypocrisy that goes into every assault on anything Microsoft does but, I don't feel like typing for the rest of my life.

    I will admit I have always been a huge Microsoft fan(not to be confused with fanboy) Microsoft introduced me to true gaming and computers, I grew up with their operating systems from a bit of Dos and 3.11 on up to my fresh as of today brand new and fully legal Windows 8.1 Pro install. I won't ever deny that they have had their missteps and failures, that would be idiocy, and I am very disappointed in their Marketing and Advertising division of late. The thing I love is generally, excluding maybe WindowsME, every horrible hated OS that they have released has been a huge step revolutionary Operating System overhaul that ends up being refined into a beloved OS the next release. No one realizes that at it's core, after all the service packs that that Vista they hate so much is just a slightly differently skinned version of the 7 they love now.

    My ramble has gone on longer than it should so I'll just toss out my last bit here. I love my Windows Phones, had a Titan,currently have a Lumia 920 and I have sold a good few people on switching over to WP and they love the platform. I understand it isn't the perfect phone platform for everybody but, there are a lot of people out there who truly would love having them if they gave WP a shot. For me I say it is by far the best phone OS out but, unlike most people I can simply state the advantages of the big three unbiased. Windows Phone has by far the smoothest quickest experience with the most integration without needing 3rd party apps and of course the most secure platform. Apple has the advantage of the insane large amount of apps available for it and also it is most likely that it is the platform has the most people you know using it(Android may be closing or have overtaken that gap by now technically, but there are a lot of real low end android phones out there sitting in the purses of the elderly) And finally you have Android who while taking a backseat to the other two in reliability gives you the freedom to really go all out with an amazing amount of freedom in what you can do to customize your OS as you like and it's app market is quite large as well.

    So I guess that's rant over, I will end it with a nod to Microsoft's Bizspark program which gave me, as a small business owner, for the mere cost of my time writing out an application describing my business, access to the entire MSDN catalog at no cost to me. It's the sister program of Dreamspark which does the same for college students. That damn evil, greedy, money grubbing Micro$oft and their charitable gifts of software, Damn Them!