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August 16, 2012

Microsoft News - Final Windows 8 RTM Information Released to MSDN and TechNet Subscribers

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

As Microsoft (News - Alert) continues to provide bits and pieces about its upcoming Windows 8, the company has recently released its manufacturing (RTM) bits, making them publicly available to developers and IT pros subscribed to its MSDN and TechNet services. The official version number reveals that it is part of the same evolutionary line as Windows 7 and Windows Vista version 6. This releases marks the Windows 8 RTM milestone and you will be required to find a trial version or pay to evaluate Windows 8 from here on out.

The current RTM bits that Microsoft has released is still missing the metro apps which is part of the larger ecosystem we expect to see when the final version is launched towards the end of October. For those who have installed the new version by upgrading from Windows 7, the Windows 8 Pro performs a clean and quick install without any hiccups. For any one upgrading from Windows 8 Release Preview however, any installed apps are no longer accessible. Yet, the upgrade does migrate all other files and settings without a hitch. Windows 8 Pro also comes with a big change where users are required to enter a product key in setup.

While you will be able to use a product key that has already been used on another machine, you will be limited to personalizing your Windows 8 environment with regular notifications telling you to enter a valid product key. While no feature degradation will be experienced nor is there any blocked functionality when using a version that has not been activated, you will get a speed bump in addition to the cumbersome notifications.

A selection of custom backgrounds from the Lock and Start screens are also available, in addition to a greater selection of colors. The Windows File manager has been renamed to File Explorer with menus and apps being noticeably quicker and more responsive. The apps store now includes over 450 apps up from about 360 apps in the Release Preview. Microsoft says that more apps will be added as we get closer to the final release date.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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