Windows 8 Release Preview now available for download

Windows 8 Release Preview is now available for download! 

Via Steven Sinofsky

Today, Windows 8 Release Preview is available for download in 14 languages. This is our final pre-release, and includes Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more), and hundreds of new and updated apps in the Windows Store. Since our first preview release last September, millions of people now use the pre-release product on a daily basis and millions more have been taking it through its paces, totaling hundreds of millions of hours of testing. We genuinely appreciate the effort that so many have put into pre-release testing, and of course, we appreciate the feedback too. Direct feedback and feedback through usage contributed to hundreds of visible changes in the product and tens of thousands of under-the-hood changes.

Just nine months ago, we kicked off this blog as a dialog about the design and development of Windows 8. We’ve talked in depth about building Windows 8, including the features, the designs, and the background behind these. We’ve done so in over 70 posts totaling over 500 pages if printed out and 34 videos totaling over 90 minutes, all coming directly from engineers of the product. We’ve had about 18,000 comments from approximately 7,000 people. Over 170 Windows engineers contributed to the dialog, including over 200 comments I posted (though I was out-commented by one other pretty active reader!). Of course, we’ve been carefully watching the telemetry of the millions of tech enthusiasts using the product at each milestone.

Windows is unique in this way. No other product used by so many provides such an inside view of the choices and development of the product as it evolves—and sometimes we forget that we are talking about a product still under active development even while we are discussing the designs and actively using it. The affirmations, debates, and even disagreements play a crucial role in the development of Windows. This has never been truer, as we reimagine Windows from the chipset to the experience—new hardware support, new user interaction models, new scenarios, new APIs and more, are all enabled with Windows 8, while we bring forward and improve the way Windows 7 has been used on over 550 million PCs around the world. Coming soon, we will see a new wave of PCs designed for Windows 8, along with new apps powered by the new Windows 8 platform.

The team has the deepest respect for, and is always humbled by the responses on the blog and in the stories about the posts. Thank you!

Our next milestone is traditionally called RTM, Release to Manufacturing, and from today until RTM, we will still be changing Windows 8, as we have done in past releases of Windows. We thought it would be a good idea to outline the kinds of feedback we are acting on as millions download and use the Windows 8 Release Preview.


Windows 8 Release Preview

Windows 8 Release Preview ISO files (Key: TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF)

Visual Studio 2012 Express RC and related Tools/SDK/Downloads


Official Announcements

Microsoft Announces Availability of Windows 8 Release Preview (Press Release)

Delivering the Windows 8 Release Preview (Steven Sinofsky’s full post)

The Windows 8 Release Preview & Windows Upgrade Offer

Announcing the Release Candidate (RC) of Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5


Windows Store Updates

Windows Store for Release Preview

IE10 Updates and Flash Support

Windows Release Preview: The Sixth IE10 Platform Preview

Changes from CP to RP for Developers

What’s changed for app developers since the Consumer Preview
Migrating a Windows 8 Metro Style App from Consumer Preview to Release Preview (my own experiences)


Now is the time to start writing an app!  Remember – I can help you get your app into the Windows Store!