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Windows 8.1 Has Gone RTM, Final Build Number Revealed

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.

  • nevilence
    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
    Reply
  • vern72
    *crickets chirping*
    Reply
  • warezme
    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.
    Reply
  • kryojenix
    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 ...
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    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.
    Reply
  • Grandmastersexsay
    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.
    Reply
  • darkavenger123
    What's the point of Windows 8.1?? The start button is still not there. I have fixed the problem myself with Start8!!!
    Reply
  • pyrotek85
    11428851 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • thor220
    Yes now if only they could get rid of the software clock that cause time to warp when overclocking.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    11428630 said:
    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.

    11428670 said:
    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.

    11428861 said:
    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.

    11429292 said:
    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.
    Reply