The ‘release to manufacturers’ (RTM) version of Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8.1 has leaked to various file-sharing Websites shortly after it was formally released last August 27. The company was not surprised because leaks of unreleased Windows products often appear right after the initial codes are given to partners. According to many observers, this leakage highlights the recent changes to the company’s long-standing policy, which gives IT professionals and developers access to official codes several weeks before those are actually released to consumers.
Moreover, many developers got mad with Microsoft’s decision to skip publishing the version on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet. These are subscription-based Websites that are exclusive to developers and IT personnel, respectively. Before the changes, they could download RTMs two weeks after reception of code and weeks prior to release of software.
To explain its side, Microsoft justified its decision by saying that it was necessary as an RTM is an unfinished version of a product. The company revealed that it would continue to fix bugs in the new Windows 8.1 until October. Thus, MSDN and TechNet members should wait along with the general public for the official release of the program in the market.
Cracking the possible source
According to sources, it is possible that the leakage of Windows 8.1 RTM originated in China. That is because the first leakage to appear online was the Chinese-language edition. The English edition was posted just a few moments after the leakage of the Chinese version.
As expected, Microsoft tried to deny the accuracy of the leaks. In the process, it warned users against counterfeit copies, which it said may possibly contain malware. The company seemed to be unaffected and just advised everyone for the announcement of a significant development about the version.
Upcoming release of Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1 would be officially released on October 17 across the US. Free update for present Windows 8 users could be found and downloaded from the company’s Windows Store. Starting October 18, hardware that runs on Windows 8.1 would be available to consumers.
As expected, Microsoft refused to disclose any pricing scheme for the retail copies of the operating system update especially for current customers who are using PCs that are powered by older operating systems, namely Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. There could be further announcements in the coming days or weeks.