Photo confirms Windows 81 RTM in August retail launch in October

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first_imgA leaked photo appears to confirm that Windows 8.1 will reach the RTM milestone this August before hitting retail shelves in October. Yes, it’s just two more months until you can have your beloved Start Button back.That’s assuming the leaked image is accurate. The August RTM nearly lines up with what the well-connected Paul Thurrott revealed on Twitter. An October retail launch makes sense, since it would give Microsoft’s manufacturing and retail partners plenty of time to get their ducks in a row  before the 2013 shopping rush kicks into high gear.There are, however, a couple problems with the image.While the August RTM confirms previously leaked info, the actual date appears to be way off. Thurrott’s inside sources had pegged the Windows 8.1 RTM for — what else — 8/1.Then there’s the DP block sitting in the May column. That would no doubt indicate a Windows 8.1 Developer Preview, which never actually happened. Microsoft’s first official Windows 8.1 release isn’t happening until the Build Conference is under way on June 26.And what about the “feedback close” that appears way back in January. It seems unlikely that Microsoft stopped taking suggestions that far back.Microsoft is clearly not the same stodgy, unyielding company that it has been in the past — just look at the recent about-face on Xbox One policies. With analysts and critics blasting Windows 8 for failing to single-handedly stop the PC sales decline, you can bet Microsoft is willing to listen to feedback right up until Ballmer signs the gold disc. That’s what the shift to Blue is all about, after all: products and services that improve continuously, not just on an antiquated release schedule.Even if this image turns out to be a fake, very little changes: Windows 8.1 is coming soon, it’s going to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users, and it’s going to fix a lot of annoyances.last_img

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