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Windows 8.1 Has Gone RTM, Final Build Number Revealed

By - Source: ZDnet | B 26 comments

Sources claim that Windows 8.1 has definitely gone RTM.

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.1 update seems to be right on track for its October release, as the platform reportedly went RTM on August 23 as of build 9600.16384.130821-1623. Currently, the digital download is scheduled to become available on October 17 followed by the full retail release on October 18.

Sources told ZDnet that the quality metrics for Windows 8.1 are back in line with Windows 7. Previously, the vast amount of changes in the Windows 8 code base resulted in an increased number of crashes and hangs compared to Windows 7. But the overall updated platform is reportedly a bit more solid than the original Windows 8 release, which is certainly good news for users who have seemingly had nothing but trouble since upgrading to the new version last October.

So far it's unclear if TechNet and MSDN subscribers will get the gold bits in the next couple of weeks as Microsoft has traditionally done in the past. However, several sources previously indicated that the Redmond company would take a different path and release the RTM 8.1 bits on October 17 like all other consumers. That could change, but Microsoft has already admitted that the Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Intune Wave E won't launch before the October 17/18 dates.

Originally, the Windows 8.1 team was reportedly targeting Monday, August 26 as the RTM date, but because it went RTM on Friday instead, Microsoft may have opted out in announcing the Windows 8.1 status so that the news wouldn't be overshadowed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's announced "retirement." Currently, the company is refusing to comment on Windows 8.1's official status.

Going RTM means that Windows 8.1 has passed Microsoft's internal quality checks and has been given the green light by participating hardware partners. Anxious consumers can still download and install the preview build, but when it comes time to actually apply the full-blown Windows 8.1 release, users will be required to re-install their apps; the data will still remain. Consumers wanting to avoid this annoyance may want to just wait until October 17.

Microsoft's Tami Reller said back in July that hardware partners would have Windows 8.1 in their hands by the end of August. She also said that a large number of devices would be introduced alongside the update's release. One of them could possibly be the new Surface tablets and Nokia's own Windows RT solution.

However, many OEMs are reportedly skipping the Windows 8.1 launch window, releasing their Windows 8 solutions on their own schedule followed by the Windows 8.1 update when it becomes available. This is a different approach than what was seen last year during Windows 8's debut which rolled out along with a huge number of desktops, notebooks, tablets and hybrids.

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  • 7 Hide
    nevilence , August 26, 2013 5:07 PM
    Was gonna comment my opinion but its all been said before and it would just start the same debates over agian. Why bother :-P I'll just stick with 7 and be quiet....mostly
  • 5 Hide
    vern72 , August 26, 2013 5:18 PM
    *crickets chirping*
  • 3 Hide
    warezme , August 26, 2013 5:31 PM
    I know, it's all been said before and I with you all. But, wouldn't it have been kind of cool if 8.1 not only had brought back the start button (THE REAL ONE), but made the stupid metro gui, a smaller slimmer pop up bar on the bottom that was in shades of grey with only the active app/apps in color and only if you launched it the gui overlay.
  • 8 Hide
    kryojenix , August 26, 2013 5:43 PM
    I'm waiting for the European edition of Win8.1 where the EU forces them to remove Media Player, Internet Explorer and also the NSA backdoor for spying ...
  • 4 Hide
    eklipz330 , August 26, 2013 6:26 PM
    i recently switched to windows 8 from windows 7... noticed how i didn't say upgrade. mostly because it's been a sidestep. anything that made win 8 unique, i replaced. got my own start bar. dont use charms or tiles or anything. quick boots are welcome. but nothing else really that fits my needs.

    nothing really important for me here actually.
  • 3 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , August 26, 2013 6:28 PM
    I got over a decade out of Windows XP. It took that long for memory to be affordable enough that 4 GB limit of XP was now an actual limitation. I don't see hardware improvements making Windows 7 obsolete until after 2020.

    This isn't the old days where new technology like USB and SATA pop up every year. Back then you could justify upgrading your OS every couple of years. Now what reason do you even have to suffer through metro and no start button? None.
  • -1 Hide
    darkavenger123 , August 26, 2013 6:33 PM
    What's the point of Windows 8.1?? The start button is still not there. I have fixed the problem myself with Start8!!!
  • 3 Hide
    pyrotek85 , August 26, 2013 6:48 PM
    Quote:
    i recently switched to windows 8 from windows 7... noticed how i didn't say upgrade. mostly because it's been a sidestep. anything that made win 8 unique, i replaced. got my own start bar. dont use charms or tiles or anything. quick boots are welcome. but nothing else really that fits my needs.

    nothing really important for me here actually.


    I did the same thing. I just wanted the under-the-hood improvements, but I'm using it just as I used 7. I can say it's been very stable at least, I haven't experienced any of the kinds of problems that Vista had early on. Honestly it would have been a fine incremental upgrade for everyone if they had just given the option to configure it for 'desktop/laptop' and 'tablet' mode. The UI aside it's very much the same as 7.
  • -1 Hide
    thor220 , August 26, 2013 8:13 PM
    Yes now if only they could get rid of the software clock that cause time to warp when overclocking.
  • -1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 26, 2013 10:27 PM
    Quote:
    I know, it's all been said before and I with you all. But, wouldn't it have been kind of cool if 8.1 not only had brought back the start button (THE REAL ONE), but made the stupid metro gui, a smaller slimmer pop up bar on the bottom that was in shades of grey with only the active app/apps in color and only if you launched it the gui overlay.


    Not really. Grey is bland honestly and I always hate having to work on computers for customers and they put on the grey bland theme on 7. Its just ugly honestly.

    And what do you consider the "real" Start Button? The 9X/ME/2K button? The Vista button? 7? The one in 8.1 is a real Start Button. It just doesn't have a "real" start menu and honestly I am fine.

    I asked a customer today who was asking about Windows 8 if on XP they used the Start Menu a lot. This is a average customer, not an enthusiast like ourselves. They said they don't really use it except to access the administrative functions of Windows. And now all you have to do is right click and it all comes up even with admin rights enabled by default. That's all I ever used it for. Now I press the Windows key and then type what I want, and it pops right up. No need to stare at small menus/folders or sort through alphabetized folders.

    Quote:
    I'm waiting for the European edition of Win8.1 where the EU forces them to remove Media Player, Internet Explorer and also the NSA backdoor for spying ...


    Honestly it kills me how the EU did that to Windows 7 yet has still refrained from going after Apple and forcing them to add a choice of browsers and remove iTunes.

    But hey, if it lines the EUs pockets then its ok.

    Quote:
    I got over a decade out of Windows XP. It took that long for memory to be affordable enough that 4 GB limit of XP was now an actual limitation. I don't see hardware improvements making Windows 7 obsolete until after 2020.

    This isn't the old days where new technology like USB and SATA pop up every year. Back then you could justify upgrading your OS every couple of years. Now what reason do you even have to suffer through metro and no start button? None.


    8.1 has a Start Button. I think you mean menu. And you don't have to suffer Metro in 8.1. Just set it to default to desktop apps and set the start button to go to all apps. Same thing as a start menu.

    Quote:
    Yes now if only they could get rid of the software clock that cause time to warp when overclocking.


    That only happens IF you OC using the BCLK. If you have an SB/IB CPU and overclock with the multi or a Haswell/SB-e and OC with the multi it wont happen. If you change the BCLK however it will.

    I am sure MS will fix it but honestly most PCs are online 24/7 and sync to the internet clock every 30 minutes so its not a big deal unless someone is offline long enough to not sync with the internet time and then uploads a benchmark while also disabling internet time syncing.
  • -1 Hide
    thor220 , August 26, 2013 10:52 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I know, it's all been said before and I with you all. But, wouldn't it have been kind of cool if 8.1 not only had brought back the start button (THE REAL ONE), but made the stupid metro gui, a smaller slimmer pop up bar on the bottom that was in shades of grey with only the active app/apps in color and only if you launched it the gui overlay.


    Not really. Grey is bland honestly and I always hate having to work on computers for customers and they put on the grey bland theme on 7. Its just ugly honestly.

    And what do you consider the "real" Start Button? The 9X/ME/2K button? The Vista button? 7? The one in 8.1 is a real Start Button. It just doesn't have a "real" start menu and honestly I am fine.

    I asked a customer today who was asking about Windows 8 if on XP they used the Start Menu a lot. This is a average customer, not an enthusiast like ourselves. They said they don't really use it except to access the administrative functions of Windows. And now all you have to do is right click and it all comes up even with admin rights enabled by default. That's all I ever used it for. Now I press the Windows key and then type what I want, and it pops right up. No need to stare at small menus/folders or sort through alphabetized folders.

    Quote:
    I'm waiting for the European edition of Win8.1 where the EU forces them to remove Media Player, Internet Explorer and also the NSA backdoor for spying ...


    Honestly it kills me how the EU did that to Windows 7 yet has still refrained from going after Apple and forcing them to add a choice of browsers and remove iTunes.

    But hey, if it lines the EUs pockets then its ok.

    Quote:
    I got over a decade out of Windows XP. It took that long for memory to be affordable enough that 4 GB limit of XP was now an actual limitation. I don't see hardware improvements making Windows 7 obsolete until after 2020.

    This isn't the old days where new technology like USB and SATA pop up every year. Back then you could justify upgrading your OS every couple of years. Now what reason do you even have to suffer through metro and no start button? None.


    8.1 has a Start Button. I think you mean menu. And you don't have to suffer Metro in 8.1. Just set it to default to desktop apps and set the start button to go to all apps. Same thing as a start menu.

    Quote:
    Yes now if only they could get rid of the software clock that cause time to warp when overclocking.


    That only happens IF you OC using the BCLK. If you have an SB/IB CPU and overclock with the multi or a Haswell/SB-e and OC with the multi it wont happen. If you change the BCLK however it will.

    I am sure MS will fix it but honestly most PCs are online 24/7 and sync to the internet clock every 30 minutes so its not a big deal unless someone is offline long enough to not sync with the internet time and then uploads a benchmark while also disabling internet time syncing.


    To be honest, I'm offline almost every weekend but really that's not what I was getting at. I was just saying that this is something that microsoft should have fixed before they released the OS. I guess when they were implementing the features, they didn't properly observe the disadvantages that each change could bring.
  • 2 Hide
    iamadev , August 27, 2013 1:26 AM
    I gotta say I am with JimmySmitty as well.

    I moved to win8 last October and I have to say I just do not understand what all of the whining is about. There is nothing that takes me any longer in win8 than any other version of windows. In fact, almost everything is much quicker.

    Yeah it is a shame that you can't have all of the control panel options in the start menu like you could previously but right-click then click and you are in control panel anyway so it really isn't any further away and that is about the only thing I have seen people articulate as to why they hate the start screen. It is after all just a full screen start menu.

    With the search improvements in 8.1 things with the start screen are going to be getting better but I wholeheartedly expect for most to just look at it and say "UGH" and walk away because of all of the bad things they have read online.

    I have yet to see a real reason that the start screen is so terrible and lets face it, most of us are not spending any meaningful time in the start menu. I used to use the start menu for loading apps back in XP and before, since then I have switched to have most apps in taskbar so I have limited use for the start screen. Most of the use of a PC is done outside of the start screen/menu.

    The most annoying thing about Windows 8 is having to read the same posts about it over and over from people that don't seem to understand that the start screen/menu is simply a way to open apps, apps that load quicker and run more smoothly in win8.
  • -2 Hide
    monkeycmonkeydu , August 27, 2013 7:49 AM
    "The most annoying thing about Windows 8 is having to read the same posts about it over and over from people that don't seem to understand that the start screen/menu is simply a way to open apps, apps that load quicker and run more smoothly in win8."

    The most annoying thing is explaining over and over to fanboys that an OS is to do work not spend hours or days figuring out ways to do stuff you used to be able to do without any issues previously. It should work right out of the box, better than the old version, be more capable of multi-tasking not less, and actually use the graphics and hardware improvements in my $3500 desktop.
  • 1 Hide
    Soda-88 , August 27, 2013 8:03 AM
    Quote:
    "The most annoying thing about Windows 8 is having to read the same posts about it over and over from people that don't seem to understand that the start screen/menu is simply a way to open apps, apps that load quicker and run more smoothly in win8."

    The most annoying thing is explaining over and over to fanboys that an OS is to do work not spend hours or days figuring out ways to do stuff you used to be able to do without any issues previously. It should work right out of the box, better than the old version, be more capable of multi-tasking not less, and actually use the graphics and hardware improvements in my $3500 desktop.


    I'll tell you where the whine is coming from. It's from the self proclaimed 'enthusiasts' who think enthusiast means just sitting on PC all day, same people who have never bothered to learn keyboard shortcuts.
    Control panel is as far as pressing winkey + x > p which is about 3 seconds faster than clicking through start menu.
  • 0 Hide
    velocityg4 , August 27, 2013 8:49 AM
    Hopefully the introductory release price for the Win 8.1 Pro Upgrade will be as cheap or cheaper than the Win 8 was.
  • -1 Hide
    warezme , August 27, 2013 12:01 PM
    Interesting to see how long it takes the (paid for by MS) trolls to jump in and defend the good graces of Win8.
  • 2 Hide
    stevejnb , August 27, 2013 12:06 PM
    Quote:
    Interesting to see how long it takes the (paid for by MS) trolls to jump in and defend the good graces of Win8.


    What amazes me is peoples' inability to admit that there are a lot of people out there who quite like Windows 8. I don't like Mac OS but I don't feel the need to parade into the comments on every article about it and proclaim it garbage, since I know it works well for a lot of people... Nor am I dense enough to assume that anyone who comes out to disagree with me after I were to do so would be paid by Apple. Windows 8 works *spectacularly* on specific types of hardware and it is a good desktop solution - every bit as functional as previous versions of Windows, just with a poorly documented interface differences. I quite like it - and MS doesn't pay me a dime. They just released software I like.

  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , August 27, 2013 1:04 PM
    #1 RTM is just that this time around in that it's a Release To Manufacturing sufficient to have appropriate drivers and software tuned for release in October.

    #2 the RTM is not the "Gold" release which will occur via update in mid-October.

    #3 manufacturers are ticked off in that they don't get the final bits with sufficient time to qualify things properly for their business-class models. So things may be more stalled than Microsoft wants because of that.
  • -1 Hide
    nevilence , August 27, 2013 2:54 PM
    What so many pro win8 people fail to realise is that it’s not about the ability to make win 8 mimic win 7, it’s not about short cuts, or look-a-like start buttons and menus. It’s about the fact that they changed the look of the OS so completely that it scared off the most common users. The users who make up sooo many of windows sales. Those of you who are pro 8 are probably right about most of your arguments, and I personally have never debated the under the hood improvements. And I can admit that at first I was one of those ignorant users, who hated without knowledge, then I changed my approach, downloaded 8.1 tried it extensively. Still don’t like it, but at least I am now educated on the matter. My point is win 8 failed because they changed the entire windows experience and that scared common users away, it would be like apple redesigning iOS to look and act like an android phone and expecting everyone to just like it and keep buying. It too would fail. As pointed out a thousand times before, all it would of needed was a choice, classic desktop or metro UI, and I would have bought it (real classic desktop too, not imitation desktop/start menu).

    And before anyone tries to point out that windows 8 didn’t “fail” I mean in comparison to previous incarnations of the OS such as 7 or XP
  • 0 Hide
    Max_x2 , August 27, 2013 4:34 PM
    Guys, seriously... Complaining on Windows 8 just shows how bad you are when put out of your comfort zone. Just learn how to use it with, say, tutorials on Tom's, youtube videos, etc. Once you'll be comfortable with the new UI, you'll wonder why you didn't made the switch before.
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