Windows 8 Release Preview Due in First Week of Juneby Andrew Cunningham on April 24, 2012 3:00 PM EST
Microsoft has announced that the Windows 8 Release Preview, a near-final build of the upcoming operating system, will be available to the public in the first week of June. The announcement, made onstage at Microsoft's Windows 8 Developer Days conference in Japan, confirms that Microsoft is sticking to the schedule it established during the Windows 7 development cycle: a public beta early in the year, a public release candidate in the middle of the year, and a public release in the fall.
How close the build will be to the release version of Windows 8 is unclear, though it's probable that the core OS and most important Metro apps will be more or less finalized by this point - WIndows 7 was actually released to manufacturing in July of 2009 and made available to OEMs and volume license customers not long after that, meaning that final code for Windows 7 was in some customers' hands much earlier than the October public launch. An RTM build won't be far behind the Release Preview, and as such it will be Microsoft's last opportunity to make changes in response to feedback elicited by the Consumer Preview.
We'll continue to deliver new details about Windows 8 as they are made public. In the meantime, be sure to catch up on our extensive coverage of the new operating system and its changes.