I generally don’t spend a lot of time following the rumor mill for Windows 8, but if Windows 8 is going to ship in October of this year — and I’m still pretty convinced it will be out before Halloween — it’s about time for the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version to head out the door so the OEMs can start prepping their systems for the eventual general availability (GA) release. To that end, I did tune into the usual sources for such information to see what was circulating around the rumor mill and found some degree of unanimity among some usual suspects (Mary Jo Foley, Gregg Keizer, Ed Oswald, and so forth). Most people think that the RTM will hit the week of July 16, across all of the sources that I recently polled and trolled.
The big push, of course, is to get the OS done in time for holiday pre-sales. Thus, even the end of October is pushing things out as far as they can go to hit this oh-so-necessary sales window. That’s the only way to get the machines with the new OS pre-loaded into buyer’s hands soon enough to take advantage of holiday buying. The real question then becomes: “Does anybody really WANT a Windows 8 PC — or even a Windows 8 Surface tablet, of the RT/ARM or Intel persuasion — under their tree?” I’m sure lots of folks in the Redmond area are having trouble sleeping at night fretting over that very question.
Hence my intention, and your possible look-out: to watch for an announcement of an RTM date soon. Might be as early as the end of next week, but probably not until some time the week after. But only time will tell, so stay tuned.