It's official folks! Microsoft's latest and greatest, Windows 8 OS, has made it to RTM (Release To Manufacturing). This means that the operating system has completed all of its pre-release testing and has been and is, in fact, still being sent, to OEM partners as we speak.
For developers who are lucky enough to have MSDN accounts, you'll be able to download the final version on August 15th, this also goes for IT professionals with TechNet subscriptions. Firms with Software Assurance and Microsoft Partners will have their chance the following day, August 16th. Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) will gain access on the 20th, whilst Volume License customers without Software Assurance will have their turn on September 1st.
For the unprivileged, we still have to wait all the way to October 26th to purchase an upgrade copy at the grand price of $39.99 (£?), however, no doubt some resourceful users may place their hands on the goods before this date, in what now seems common practise with Windows releases.
It's perhaps worth noting that, along with Windows 8 developer availability on the 15th, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 will also exist beta and be available for download. So for those lucky enough to be in one of the aforementioned programs, happy downloading in two-to-four weeks.