SOFTWARE REDEVELOPER Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 is at the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) stage, however it added that does not mean it is finished.
The firm announced its RTM goal in a blog post last weekend. Antoine Leblond, SVP of Windows Web Services said that the term RTM, as we know it, doesn't work anymore.
"We've hit an important milestone for Windows and for Microsoft - just 10 months after delivering on a bold, generational change in computing with Windows 8, our team is proud to share that we have started releasing Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 to our hardware partners," he said.
"In the past, the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use. 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."
Leblond said that only Microsoft hardware partners will get their hands on the update for now, leaving the rest of the world to wait until 18 October. Microsoft and its hardware partners are expected to use the time to create enchanting consumer lures.
"While our partners are preparing these exciting new devices we will continue to work closely with them as we put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1 to ensure a quality experience at general availability on October 18th," he added.
"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."
Last week Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he will retire within a year. Microsoft's stock price increased on the news. µ