Today Microsoft confirmed at the Windows Developer Days conference that the Release Preview for Windows 8 will be released to the public in early June of 2012. The next step would be the produce Windows 8 Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version which will be identical to the retail version of the operating system. It is believed that Microsoft is shooting for October of this year to release Windows 8 for public sale. To accomplish this RTM which is the point that the code is locked and sent off to be pressed onto DVD for shipping would need to be accomplished no later than August.
No other details have been released, but based on the announced timeline we can most likely expect no major changes or new features from the currently released Consumer Preview that was released on February 29th. Hopefully a fixed up version of the Consumer Preview, maybe some last UI tweaks too, but nothing major.
The Release Preview marks the third step in the development progress. While the company did not reveal information about new features that ship in the release preview, nor an exact date for the release, it is reassuring that Microsoft seems to be right on track to release the final version of Windows 8 later this year.
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