Following criticism from TechNet and MSDN subscribers, Microsoft has announced plans to release the Core and Pro RTM builds for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 to users of those services. Additionally, the release candidate build for Visual Studio 2013 will be provided to TechNet and MSDN subscribers.
In late August, Microsoft announced that development of the RTM builds of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 had been completed. However, the company also announced it would not offer those builds to its TechNet and MSDN subscribers ahead of the Oct. 18 launch date for both operating systems. It was a decision that upset many software developers, who complained on Microsoft’s Windows blog that keeping the RTM files would be a hindrance in creating apps for both operating systems.
In today’s announcement, Microsoft said they are still making some final changes to Windows 8.1 before the OS reaches its general availability stage. That was part of the reason why the company did not at first wish to release the RTM versions publicly. However, a representative of Microsoft told Neowin that, in taking feedback from software developers, the company decided that it was in fact a good idea to release the RTM build to TechNet and MSDN users.
Microsoft does say that since the Windows team will be making some final adjustments to Windows 8.1 before Oct. 18. The RTM builds are for testing purposes only, the company says, and developers will still have to do some final app tweaking of their own when the GA build is released.